The secret-to-life…? People join religions, read tea leaves, travel to Buddhist monasteries to discover it. In the end they usually find it, like Dorothy, right back home. Where it’s no secret at all. Beginning with that first Christmas you didn’t get what you wanted, you learned life is full of trees and holly and hope; but at the very same, it’s awfully hard. It comes with no guarantees!
Albert Einstein and explorer Sir Randulf Fiennes looked at this in two slightly different ways. Einstein: “The world is a dangerous place; not because of evil people, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Fiennes: “There’s no such thing as bad weather; only inappropriate clothing.”
Seems to me, each man is pointing a finger at us and at what we can accomplish while we’re here. You know, like TIME’s person-of-the-year [“the protester”]. Those who follow the direction of these fingers take on both the bad people and the bad weather. With their own quiet gusto. We all recognize them. They might even include us. Driving the kids to school…joining the PTA … volunteering for community programs…voting in every election… maybe even marching or occupying or running for office.
Hard to say whether or not the activists make a difference. But they won’t leave the scene without a trace! Meantime the pacifists, among or including us, opt to go with the flow. Sure, the world is crowded with bad people and bad weather conditions, but I’ve got enough to do to just survive it. Don’t ask me to leave the sanctity of my home for the struggles of a world I can’t change.
Now here’s the backside to the Secret. Our world is going to keep changing whether we get involved or not. So the question becomes: Sitting here in the earned sanctity of our home at the end of another tough slog, do we pull up the drawbridge? Or do we let it down and march across?
Each adventurer comes back with a different story. But the only one that counts is our own…
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