Thursday, July 15, 2010

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Nothing needs reforming as much as other people's habits.

Mark Twain
Isn't it curious how other people are so much less complicated than I am? There is no one I can think of who could possibly carry around the vast network of thoughts, ideas, fears and hopes that I do. You see, I am definitely a superior person and other people should listen to me and do what I say. If they would only conform their behavior to what I know is right for them they would be so much happier and the world would be a better place.

Back up the tape to my younger years and see all the people around me who are advising me. "You really ought to do this." "It's a shame you're not that." "If I were you I would do the other thing." "What's the matter with you?" "You'll be sorry if you continue doing what you're doing." "You've got to learn to make something out of yourself." "Whatever is going to become of you?" "I hope something comes along some day, hits you in the head and knocks some sense into you."

If I had done what everyone, my family and my teachers, thought I should do I would have been beyond manic, I would have been Swiss cheese, a patchwork quilt, a chess set with some pieces missing, a wheelbarrow stuck in the mud, half of a motorcycle.

If you think you know something then you might. It's merely a question of making sure. The adults around me were all authority figures so I assumed they must know the answers. And even though I had different ideas, I must be wrong.

I would love to say there was a great blazing, cymbal crashing wake up one day, but there wasn't. It happened gradually. As time went by people began to ask me what I thought. That surprised me. And when I told them what I thought, sometimes they agreed with me, which surprised me even more.

Eventually I learned to respect myself, my ideas and my abilities. Once I did that I was free to learn how to respect other peoples ideas and abilities. I don't always agree with them. But today, the last thing I want to do is to tell anyone what to think or how to behave.

We all have our own canoes. You can't paddle mine and I can't paddle yours.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

5 responses so far.

Thank you.


Arlene (AJ) said...

Wow, one of the most profound readings I've ever read, you said it all DB...respect for life and others is what everyone should aim for as they start each new day. Like you said we don't all have to agree with each other, but the common bond of respecting each others thoughts and view without demeaning another can make all the difference in getting through life with peace in your heart versus pain or hatred.

Ally Lifewithally said...

Arlene has just about said it all ~ Brilliant entry ~ Ally x

Big Mark 243 said...

This was an insightful entry to you, DB. And I think that a big key to you is that you had the ability to follow your own star and pursue it as far as you could.

Liz said...

Dadgummit! Here am I up the creek without a paddle and you are not even willing to lend me one of yours.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

What if we are in the same canoe?