The Road to...
A lyric from the iconic Talking Heads tune “Once in a Lifetime” has been bouncing around my head this week. The one that asks: “Where does that highway go to?”
In a growing number conversations I’ve had recently, people have expressed the concern that our individual and collective conversations are leading us nowhere, or worse. That absent some calamitous event, our current social, political and economic (to name a few) divides cannot and will not be resolved.
While I can understand the frustration, bordering on despair, that underpins this angst, I can’t bring myself to believe that something has to blow up bigly before we can move forward. Then again, I also don’t subscribe to the notion that everything is awesome. (Sorry, hon.)
It’s led me to wonder: how do we take a step back from the brink? Not just pause, or take a short break, you know, like at a rest stop, before you get back in and drive off to where you were heading. I mean, like totally get out of the car, leave the groom at the altar stuff.
Because it seems to me that this is what we need. Not to wait for something to break, but to divorce ourselves from the continuum that we are on. A reset with resolve.
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” - Cherokee Proverb
Can we change our destiny? Should we try?
This is a simplification and a distillation of the Stoic belief that one can accept what happens AND make the best of it. That you can be not okay with what fate has dealt, and overcome it with a positive mindset and the mental energy to do something about it: To make fate your friend.
“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” - Marcus Aurelius
Amor fati: love what happens.
Because sh-t happens. And we really have no choice but to accept that fact if we want to make the road ahead lead to meaningful change. Enjoy the journey but don’t be a passenger on the road of life.
And put down the chocolate. It’ll spoil your dinner.