For as long as my memory serves thoughts have bubbled up from somewhere. Unbidden, with unknown origins, thoughts appear, and either ask for or demand consideration. Sometimes they are easy to discard, others are impossible.
I once asked you where thoughts come from. Did you ever find an answer?
In a day and age of constant media and the near non stop flow of information, have you ever stopped to sift the thoughts that are your own from those that were given to you by the rest of the world?
My grandfather used to tell me, “thoughts are things! Be careful what you put in your mind, for it will come out in your life.” I’ve been thinking about his words as I’ve sat down to this task of writing. Early in my life both my Grandfather and mother encouraged me to express myself thus, and later I found that there was a compelling reality with written words. That reality is, thoughts, captured in words, and transcribed from the mind to the page, begin to hold power. Ordered in just the right way, set with the right tone, thoughts from one temporal moment may live on, even if their transcriber or world they were written in does not. The right words, at the right time, can change the entire world, e.g. “Let there be light!”
I think that this reflects, directly for some, obliquely for others, on one of the great truths. Creation is one of the essential components of our humanity. What we create for ourselves lives as long as we do. What we create and give away can become woven into the tapestry of our nature. Through our creation, we can live forever, not in a fleeting physical state, but in a significant and vital way by offering our learning to those who will come next.
Equipped with the unique perspective you have, future generations can avoid the things that set you back, and reach further. In reaching further, they too will have setbacks, and if they learn and share, those that come later will reach even further.
In this brief explanation you can begin to see that you and your life are significant in many ways, but maybe none so much as the influence you wield on the world around you. As a physical being, you are powerful. Powerful enough to task your body with work and see it accomplished. We delight in personal triumphs over goals, we take heart in the indomitable spirit of others captured in story or film, we love underdogs who overcome. These stories of personal triumph are goads driving us past our own perceived limitations to share that which is truly significant in our lives, our ability to rise above individual difficulty to achieve unlikely, inspiring greatness.
Possessed of such power, what will you do to shape the world?
Could it be that in exercising mastery of the self we begin to learn mastery of the world? Are the two synonymous?