Haunted By Society’s Measuring Stick

In Features, My Piece of the Sky, Opinion by Sean Dineen

My fears, my friends are two fold, fear of not measuring up, not making the greatest use of the talents I have been blessed with, and fear of loosing control over my own destiny.

The first of these concerns is easier to define, because it is more direct. Do I really deserve all the wonderful blessings I have had? Have I done enough to help those around me?

Of course as human beings, we all make mistakes, we all look back on as the old prayer says, “What we have done, and what we have failed to do”, but I feel a special sense of obligation, to try to lift up, those in the community, who have had it harder than I have, who struggled further, to obtain as Ken Dannager said, “The right to exist.”

Because our lives, require a great deal of effort merely to get through, daily living tasks, it seems to give most of us, an intensity, an Iron will, which can be disconcerting to those who haven’t lived our sort of lives.

The obligation I feel, can sometimes make it harder to learn from mistakes, because, I have a bad habit of ruminating, instead of moving on.

This fear of failing as a moral being can be understood, by anyone who has any sort of moral compass, an ultimate purpose they live for.

It is the second concern of lost of control over fate, that I believe has a particular resonance, for all of us. Many stereotypical images, of our daily struggle exist. The most dangerous, and the worst, is the idea that we don’t need to work.

Now I define work, not only as employment for wages, but rather chosen movement towards a goal.

Each person, must be allowed and even encouraged to decide for themselves, what their particular goal is.

The danger comes when the larger outside world, believes we need not exert this effort, because like an indulgent parent, someone else, usually “caregivers” will provide, every conceivable thing, we could need or want without us even having to ask.

This sort of eternal childhood is not possible at least not in this life, but even if it were it is not the sort of life most of us would want. I cannot express fully, the number of times, I have had, as I am sure you have had to deal with this false idea.

As a well meaning expert put it, when discussing my degree, “Doesn’t the state give you, 24 hour care, ten thousand dollars a month, or whatever else the person on the street, believes I need?”

With that amount of smothering comes a loss of control. My greater fear, my friends, is that I will yield to the temptation of the moment, and cease to try.

I am sure all of you, have wondered why you have made the efforts to achieve in your own lives.

Sometimes at a great financial, physical or spiritual cost, you listened to the voice in your hearts, which told you the old way didn’t work anymore. This change could be anything, from a new treatment, to a vacation to a wardrobe, but at some point you and I did it.

As human beings, some of the changes may not have always worked out for the best. But the fact that we took the chance, is worthy of praise.

So that is my fear my friends, which has stayed with me, long after, all of the ghosts, ceased to worry me.

Well, except for Frazzle, but that is another story. Thank you, all for giving me the strength to keep going, I hope I can repay the debt if needed.

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