Archive for June 13th, 2011

June 13, 2011

It’s Not About You

This week, we’re spending some time at the beach with our families, so blogging is taking a backseat.  We’ll be back in full force next week, hopefully with some photos and stories of family firsts!  In the meantime, I offer something I read lately that was good food for thought.

Enjoy the sunshine wherever you are!

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In the midst of commencement season, I came across this article, aptly titled “It’s Not About You”, on the New York Times website.  It offers an honest and insightful perspective on the gaps between what this year’s graduating class has been taught in school and what they will need to succeed in the world.

Essentially, the point is made that while learning about yourself is important, it should be part of the everyday activity of your life—not something you go off and do on any variety of compartmentalized, romanticized journeys.  The people who have been great successes in our society are the ones who didn’t always do what made them happy, but did what needed to be done in heroic ways.

Op-ed columnist David Brooks writes, “Most people don’t form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling.”

He goes on, “Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. . . . . The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.”

Umm, isn’t that last bit a paraphrase of the Gospels?

I was encouraged to see someone talking so much sense about the state of our society, about the situation in which my and future generations will find themselves.  I’m also challenged as a parent by the obstacles Brooks rightly suggests we’ve placed in front of these future generations.

As a mother, too, this strikes a chord with me.  Motherhood is a journey, not a destination, and I grow every day by the way I approach my tasks, whether they are as clearly significant as one day choosing a school for Jacob or seemingly insignificant, like folding socks and peeling carrots.

I don’t know how long the full article will be posted, but get it while you can here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/opinion/31brooks.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

As always, I welcome your comments!

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