Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Grandfather

There is a balance in learning to appreciate and value my own vision for my life, while listening to and partnering with others in their own paths. My goal is to maintain my focus, and still discover the value in opportunities I don't expect. I learned an important piece of this from my grandfather, even though it wasn't a lesson he was trying to teach me.

I always looked to my grandfather as the epitome of serenity, and although I have learned some things about his life and decisions that cloud that image of him, my appreciation for him has not diminished in the least. What I learned, though, is that all of his major life decisions were made for him by other people. Not that he was forced to do things against his will, but rather that he didn't manifest a strong will one way or the other. His jobs early in life, his religion, his career, his wife, and even where he lived were determined by other individuals. When he finally became unable to care for himself late in life, after my grandmother had already passed away, he was so unaccustomed to making any important decisions for himself that he wept when there was no clear direction. Relatives and others close to him were not in agreement about what he should do and where he should go, and for the first time I saw him distraught. I believe he was led into a situation that only sped the decline of his health because he simply listened to the strongest voice.

What I had mistaken for mere serenity in my grandfather had actually been in some ways a lack of vision. I don't know what he would have dreamed for his life. In fact, I don't honestly know if it would have been all that different. But the way he arrived at the decisions he made is where I want my practice to distinctly diverge from his. I respect, love, and honor him like no other person, but I want to give the powerful and transformative vision I have for my own life every possible chance to manifest itself.

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