Lewis Quartey just wrote an entry on his blog called "Life's a Circus."
He quoted an old post of mine on writing more -
Life’s a circus.
Now, some people have this attitude of, “Well, all this doesn’t matter, so I’m just going to party, or do nothing, or whatever.” Me? No way! I think, “Well, most of this doesn’t matter, so I might as well found branches of science, do great works, build amazing things, make art, write, fund things, build things, fix things, serve people, and otherwise do amazing stuff.”
It's a nice post by Lewis and I'm grateful he liked that post and shared it. Since then, my views have updated a bit on doing big things, so I commented on his site -
Hey Lewis, thanks for the kind words. My views have shifted a tiny little bit since I wrote that post about what's important - I've gained a greater appreciation of people in support roles, who work behind the scenes, people who do what they can to help bring great events to the world but then don't want any of the credit. People in support, in deference, the medics and competent administrators of society - these are fantastic and important people worthy of all our respect, and their path is very good too.
With that said - I think it's good to reach as high as you can. Some people truly want to work in the back end of software and live a private life, living with pleasure over the excellent engineering they've done without coming to the forefront. That's very solid, very good. However, I think many people feel something inside them where they could raise a new banner, build new things, change things, really make a massive mark and be one of the first movers on doing that. For someone that has those inclinations at all, I reckon they should be explored - why not reach high? A lot of people say "I don't really want that" *when they actually do want it*, but are afraid. That's not good. Reach high. For the person who has the temperament of a trail guide, administrator, medic - that is fantastic and those are virtuous and crucial roles. Yet, if it appeals to you at all to blaze new trails as an explorer, to build new administrations, to invent and pioneer new medicines - then try. Definitely try.
That's where I'm at now - I've come to a much greater appreciation of the people who live in the support roles, who make possible everything magnificent that happens. At the same time, I think almost everyone occasionally get an inkling that they could try to invent or make art or really uniquely craft something at some point or other... and many people fight that off by saying "I'm not that kind of person," where everyone could try, and would probably be better off for trying even if it doesn't work.
Some people have temperaments and preferences for support roles, and those people are deserving of so much honor and so much respect and so much gratitude. They're crucial to humanity, to all of us. I overlooked those roles too much in the past with some of my writing, but to everyone out there who supports and props us up - thank you, and you're awesome.
But! At some point you might get the urge to strike off and do something unique and crazy, and I hope you don't say "Well, that's not me..." because it could be. So, do keep both perspectives in mind. We all support each other sometimes, and the best people who prop us up are truly titans of humanity. At the same time, most of us occasionally get the urge to strike off into uncharted waters, to blank spots on the map, to picking up a paintbrush and trying to do something ridiculous. Even if you're normally a titan and pillar of our society, you can still find a couple hours to experiment with coloring in that blank spot on the map. Both paths are open.
And life's still a circus.
Reading Sebastian's blog is like my daily dose of magic pill, giving me a quick fix and energy. Thank you!!
Existentialism is not sustainable. We all need faith to survive. Ultimately it all boils down to accomplishing whatever makes us happy and others could also potentially benefit. :)
"Reach high, as high as we can."
Last note, in the long river of history, everyone,I think , is a supporting role. Whether we are significant to the humanity or not is left for others/post-generation to decide.
Very good question. Here we go -
I saw your post offering advice help, so I thought I'd take you up on that. I'm young, pre college, so time is on my side. I'd like to create a web startup at some point in the future, at least that's the dream. Should I focus on homing in on my technical skills, or business skills? Right now, I know much less of the latter, but I recognize its importance in entrepreneurship.
Also, do you think college credentials are as important as real world opportunities? And any reading recommendations would be much obliged. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks so much,
[caption id="attachment_390" align="aligncenter" width="470"] The world is kind to those who don't "give a fuck".[/caption]
“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C. S. Lewis
I've quoted this before. It's re-emphasis is not without purpose. You see, I've known many incredible people in my lifetime, and what continues to strike me is the frequency with which they insist that they were, at one point, "too embarrassed" to look silly.
It's a poignant remark in my eyes because (and this is not bragging), the idea of looking silly is one that has not entered my mind in probably a decade. The concept that anyone would be embarassed by who they are, afraid to express their thoughts or personality is mind-boggling. We are who we are in the same way that a pear is a pear or a tree is a tree, nothing can change that.
So truly what requires more effort? Being yourself in the face of possible ridicule, or maintaining an unnecessary and futile facade? How much energy are you wasting a day being someone else when you could be the beautiful, powerful you?