Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Strive Better

I can be a sulking bastard.

Despite nearly three decades on this planet, I can turn into a pouting, two-year old when I feel wronged. I recognize this about myself, I try to correct it, but I keep failing.

I guess I just like to pout.

Consequently, I have sympathy for folks who have character traits they can't seem to shake. Human beings will always struggle with bringing their actions in line with what they believe is right. All of us fail to be the best human being we could be, and we fail daily. It's just a part of the human struggle.

The key is struggling.

Many folks seem to have lost interest in the struggle. The struggle to improve, the struggle to see the world a little differently everyday. The struggle to grow. I'll admit to losing interest in this struggle at times, but I always come back to it. I'm acutely aware of the fact that I'm not perfect. Therefore, the only true and lasting work in my life is trying to create perfection in all aspects of my life.

Perfection as a husband, as a father, and as citizen. It's a lofty goal that I will never achieve, but that doesn't mean it's not the perfect goal to strive towards.

When did so many of us become immune to this desire? When did we reach the point where we're ok wallowing in our own biases, when we revel in our hypocrisies and faults? Maybe it's always been this way and I never took the time to notice. But, lately, it's been grating on my spirit more and more how easily people have abandoned the idea of striving towards a higher purpose.

Notice, I didn't say we don't strive anymore. We want more money, a bigger house, a nice car and a better lover. Most of us have a long list of "wants" that we strive towards grasping everyday. They dominate our books, our televisions, and our bedrooms.

Yet, we all know this is pointless. These temporal things are nothing in the grand scheme of life. All that matters is our inner improvement and how we display that improvement in our actions. What we acquire can disappear in the twinkling of eye, and all we are left with is who we are.

Who are you?




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9 comments:

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi there!

You said:
"Consequently, I have sympathy for folks who have character traits they can't seem to shake."

God has that type of sympathy too...

Imhotep said...

Big Man, I sense some hesitation in today’s blog. You say we are striving for the wrong things, if we're striving at all, but you stop short of saying what we should be striving for. What is this higher purpose, and when did we ever strive for it?

Anyway, we should not all strive for the same things, let's seek some diversity with our striving. And I'm not fully convinced that God wants you to judge if someone's striving is meaningful or not. So you know, there are many applicants for that judgment job.

I think we all achieve spiritual, emotional and psychological maturity at different points in our lives, if at all. The things that we strive for is to a large extend based on how we're conditioned, and to date we are conditioned towards material wants. Now, if we develop some psychological and or spiritual maturity, then in the long run, we are less likely to succumb to our conditioning, and more likely to seek some higher purpose.

You’re primary control is with your own life, and what you strive for, that’s an outcome you can affect. Someone else’s life is between them and their God.

Big Man said...

Imhotep

Thanks again for an interesting perspective.

You're right, I stopped short of calling for all of us to strive towards the same higher purpose.

I struggled with that decision. On one hand I wanted to promote Christianity and its ideals. On the other hand, I want people to improve themselves even if they see Christianity as a crock of bull.

I wondered if it made the piece weaker, and I'd be interested to hear more about what you think.

Toni_Forty21 said...

...this is righteousness.

Imhotep said...

Big Man, I don't know if not speaking what was on your heart made the blog weaker, only you know the answer to that question. I still enjoyed the blog, your frustration with the status quo was noticeable, but you were real vague with the antidote.

I felt that the audience was short changed, but I also believe you were coming from a good place when you made that choice. I believe it was due to consideration for your audience that you decided to tap the brakes to avoided appearing too preachy or sanctimonious.

Bro, I say write what you feel like writing, and if you need to brace yourself for the feedback, then so be it!

Deacon Blue said...

I figure that they day I act like "I've arrived" and don't need a lot more work is probably the day that everyone I know and love probably needs to drop me like a hot potato and move on.

But I also realize that plenty of other people out there don't think they need constant work and refinement on all front.

Dave said...

I gotta say that I've found that the more I strive towards personal goals, the more easily the temporal ones come to me. It's all about balance. You need both inputs and outputs, actions and rewards, spiritual and material.

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