Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I have often been forced to reflect about the goal of life through illness. It has led me down a path that still asks that question even in times of good health. Because it directly relates to what I am doing each day, and how I go about it.
Is our goal merely to accomplish and acquire? This seed is planted very young in school. If I am not "good" at school, I am doomed. Or so the train of thought goes something like that by the emphasis placed on achievement. If I am rejected by peers, I must figure out a way to be accepted later on, hence, not valuing myself and becoming someone else ( what a shame!). Our culture values accomplishments and acquisitions so highly that most people are "put" on this track, and feel the pain of being on it. It is no wonder that new mothers experience a mini-crisis because there aren't many measurable accomplishments when caring for a newborn (there are infinite immeasurable ones!). No wonder there are so many mid-life crises, when people are tired of success and being someone else. I am not poking fun here, just making connections, and lamenting them.
Manners and accomplishments are important, but are not the primary goal. They serve the higher purposes of positive relationships with others and personal development, which enables one to serve others and the community.
Could the real goal be so simple as to love? It turns our head around because it cannot be measured, but perhaps makes it fit more comfortably.
As parents, we draw our children into our love. It all starts there, which is why the parental relationship is so vital. It is reflected not only in new life, but in the humanity of that life. Love between spouses is meant to be true, personal, serving, and accepting. If we left the goal of life to be defined by our culture, we would be entirely misdirected, and misguide our children, putting them on the wrong, and sad track. The real goal? To become human beings rich in virtue, most especially of all, true love.
And what if we have spent our entire lives pursuing success, as defined by our culture? I am confident that those energies redirected will result in the true accomplishment of charity.
Well, with that, I believe I have left us all (myself included) with enough challenges for the day! :)