Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mission, refined:

I spend entirely too much time thinking about my place in the world. Is this annoying navel gazing? I don't know, but occasionally, I try to devine my philosophy or mission in life from things I believe.

I must be clear on this, my mission does not exclude the fact that, like most humans, I can be a raging hypocrite. I'm a vegetarian, I barely eat dairy, and yet I still buy leather shoes and belts. Terrrrrible. Nonetheless, never being perfect doesn't preclude you from trying. I know that I take stands against moralism. This is only because loudly declaring moralism seems to be a sign of majorly screwing up. Hoisted by one's own petard!

I was going to give examples to people in the news who make my point very well, but I don't want to sully this post with their names. Even so, you can find examples here, here, here, here, here, and most recently, here. Okay, that last one was more of an example of why something doesn't work. but oh well.

So, after really thinking about it for ten minutes or so, I have decided that I have a mission in life. It's bolstered by Joey Ramone, who, dying of cancer, covered "What a Wonderful World" on his album Don't Worry About Me. And it is:

This world is ugly, mean, and hurtful. It is a dangerous and deceitful place. We are all complicit in awful things, and we don't always have control over our participation in them. There are many things that we are powerless to solve, that, given too much attention, will break our hearts. So what to do?

I believe that, every day, one must strive to increase the amount of love, beauty, and laughter in this world.

Now, I must be clear here. When I say love, I mean all kinds. From kind words up to the love of a parent or spouse, it's all good. When I say beauty, it's up to you...is it creating art? Harmony? Peace? All are beautiful. But spread it, baby. Spread the beauty. And laughter...that's the tricky one. I think it's key, lest the laughter negate the love, that it's positive laughter. I mean, sure, there are times that we laugh at people, that's not the kind I'm looking at being helpful.

I don't know, now that I've put it in writing, I may fall down on my mission. But then again, I can always get back up.



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