These are the beginnings of various reflections that I started in May of 2000, but never finished.
Ends and Beginnings
Things change. People change too. What’s fun about being a person is that we shape our being into what we want it to be, and in doing so, we affect what we want to be. It’s a wonderful dynamic. We act, and in doing so, we become what we are.
To a large extent, limitations on our growth and evolution as individuals are self-imposed. Our relationships with others, the environments in which we work, live, love, and play, and our activities all help to shape our future selves. With this in mind, we should carefully choose those environments, relationships, and activities which best facilitate our self-actualization.
One solution is to withdraw from the world, and to avoid entangling relationships which may harm or hinder our growth. Some even extol such withdrawl as virtuous, and encourage a fundamental aloofness and distance from others. While he was writing of romantic relationships, I think the gist of what Berton Braley had to say in Old Man’s Advice applies to this:
Old Man’s Advice
Berton Braley (1882-1966)
published in the New York Times, January 24, 1937
Keep away from women, boy, And play a lonely game. For the bad ones make you crooked And the good ones make you tame. They want to keep you sheltered From the stress and storm of chance, And they hold you from adventure By the spell of soft romance. Keep away from women, boy. They either break your heart With falseness and with mockery And coldly cruel art, Or else, with changing kisses And with fond and loving charm, They keep you from the struggle And they spoil your fighting arm. Keep away from women, boy, Wherever they may lurk. They make your courage falter And they play the deuce with work. They weave you silken fetters Which are stronger far than steel. They rob your soul of daring And you heart and brain of zeal. Keep away from women, boy, And shun their loveliness, And you shall tread unswervingly The pathway to success. The world shall hail you master, And fortune heed your call, And you shall reach the lonely heights And never live at all.
Ends and Beginnings
I had my last final on Thursday, graduation was today, and I leave Terre Haute for San Diego tomorrow. My Junior year of college is over. I’m stricken by the feeling that I should have something of some significance to say or ponder now, but in all honesty nothing striking comes to mind. It’s strange. I found myself thinking “I’ll never see you again” while talking to various people at graduation.
I’m looking forward to my summer working at Bomis, living with Carolyn and going to the seminar in Vancouver.