In a conversation with a friend today, I both explored and explained my basic assumptions about life. My friend was feeling uncomfortable and uneasy and didn’t really know why – a painful place for someone not used to introspection, to be sure.
“I feel lost” was my friend’s summary statement, after some verbal exploring.
Which I took to be a good thing. Being lost, in my mind, is the essential human condition (which I further believe has a basis in biological limitations we all share, but that’s a side trail I’ll follow at another time).
Admitting one is lost is an admission that you’re in unfamiliar territory, and you’re not sure how you got there, and how to get back to familiar territory. Right?
Well, since we’re all making this up as we go (life as improv), isn’t most of life unfamiliar territory? Especially if you’re seeking improvements, of yourself or for others you care about. Improving is about seeking different ways to do the things you might do automatically… and if you don’t find yourself in unfamiliar territory when you do that, you’re still not trying hard enough.
Being lost is admitting that I’m probably never going to see the whole territory, and likely neither is anyone else. In fact, I’ll probably never even see a map of the territory, or even the small area I’m in right now. But I still need to take action.
It’s the folks who insist that they’re never lost that worry me… or rather, the ones who were lost and are now found and therefore are gonna be OK. Those are the folks who have forsaken the terrain they’re in and are focused on another, later, trail… one for which there is little evidence even exists. Those folk are asleep and dreaming. And not in such a good way, I think, because they’ve abandoned any responsibility for the region we share.
They’ve decided to not think of themselves as lost in order to prepare for a time when they’ll be shown the map. All secrets revealed.
…sorry, friend, I’m not trading my current view for a possible look later. I’ll just sit here and admire what I can see and see how it all connects to where I’ve been.
If this seems deep, it shouldn’t. It all flows from my bedrock assumption about the universe, and that is: I don’t know. And I’m OK with that.
…but while I’m here, why not try to find out as much as I can?