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In order to get through life without going mad or losing our marbles we have to delude ourselves from some harsh realities. One of the hardest truths to accept is the realization the majority of us are unimportant and nothing special.* I am one of those people.

I like to believe I am overall a good person who continually works on getting through life with probity and good will without too much ‘Shadow’ mucking up my intents. I am good at what I do and what I do benefits others. My work has meaning. I have a loving family and relationships. Other than my copious carbon footprint I will leave this earth with the quiet satisfaction I beheld a marvelous story and the world was not worse for my being here.

But that’s it. I haven’t done anything noteworthy to get me  into the annals of history. When I go I will be remembered for a little while by thems who knew me until they too die off and I am forgotten. If some of my siblings’ decedents happen to be into genealogy I may be remembered as a dead-end side branch in the family tree.  I will join the billions of people who have gone to their graves unknown and forgotten.

Most folks don’t think this way; they go through life without conscious cosmic thoughts of whether or not they will endure somehow. A tiny minority of us want to ‘live on’; they try hard to become memorable in any way then can.  Often they are depressed knowing their chances of success is very low. A few – very few – get into the history books to be one of those remembered.

This realization doesn’t evoke depression or grief in me but a sort of relief I will not be going down the path towards greatness. I am OK with my lot. At 56 years old I am not looking towards the future in desperation to ‘do something’ like writing a great novel or rising through politics or becoming a legend in my field.

In the musical “Pippen” the hero Pippin dreams of a great life.  “Don’t you see I want my life to be something more than long?” he sings in the opening song. He longs for greatness. He tries politics and war and hedonism – and fails in all.  By the end of the musical he has fallen for a widow with a child pointing him towards domestic living and daily drudgery.  The master of ceremonies suggests he commit suicide in a brilliant ending rather than succumb to the mundane.  Pippen chooses the latter. The master strips him, the woman and child, and finally the stage to nothing. He walks off and tells Pippen to live trapped in ‘that’.  The widow asks Pippen if he feels trapped. Pippen replies yes he does, but he feels good – and that’s not bad for an ending of a musical.  With smile and a bit of flair, the three of them bow, and the curtain drops and the play is done.

I feel likewise.  🙂



*I think the other hard truth is the world is not just. The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it while the bad people often get away with their actions without consequences. There is no gods or karma to remedy this.

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April 2019

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018