Thursday, 8 March 2012
No Mad Rush Required
Ever get the feeling that we're all flying about in this social media sphere, occasionally bumping into each other? That each of us is trying to say something profound and original, while kinda knowing, deep down, that, if we have thought of it, somebody else, somewhere on this planet of seven billion plus people, must have thought of it, too? That the race then becomes, who can get to put it out there first, in front of the widest audience - and be recognized as the author or creator.
I get that feeling. Sometimes, that's exactly the kind of race in which I find myself. There's so much information at our fingertips, it's one thing to rummage through the sheer pile of it all to find a gem. It's another to be the creator of that gem! This brings to mind a few lines from that piece I "discovered" and studied for my dramatic monologue for the audition for the part I got in the ad the other day (may I buy another "for"?) The piece is from George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman" (ACT I, 182) . Tanner is speaking to Tavy (Octavius) about the raging tension, if you will, between the "artist/man" and the "mother/woman": "Our minds are nothing more than this knowledge of ourselves, and he who adds one jot to such knowledge, creates new mind, as surely as any woman creates new men." Who would not want to add to the body of knowledge that now exists? Now. Now. (Get it? Moving target.) It is a challenge with which doctoral and other students grapple. A lot. Heck, it's not just a student/scholarly thing. In the world outside the classroom, that desire to add to the body of knowledge among human beings is most times simply referred to as "making my mark".
And, these days, it is way easier to do that. (For the purpose of this post, never mind the kind of mark.) And, if we can do it - add to knowledge or make our mark in such a way that we receive (almost) instant recognition and, quite possibly, reward, well, it certainly helps to explain the mad rush to do so.
But, oh, how tiring. And, what do we give up in the pursuit of this goal? It has taken me a while to learn - everybody doesn't learn at the same pace - that the joy is not in finishing first and standing out and and and... But, instead, in being courageous enough to create, and being aware that God has blessed each of us with that something already unique to each of us - our unique selves. That, if we simply be ourselves and let Him help us discover our talents and gifts and use them, we can - and will - exceed our own expectations. And, be happy.
No mad rush required.