May 28, 2013

Weekly Mantra - Inventing Life's Meaning

What is considered "life's work?"

Is it how much time people spend in an office? Is it volunteering or devoting your life to another cause? It is taking care of children? How many categories define what it means to spend your hours, and how many people will judge what you choose? How can one follow their creative desire without starvation or ridicule?

Lately, these are the questions I find myself asking.

I read this quote from Calvin and Hobbes creator, Bill Watterson as sourced by Brain Pickings during Watterson's commencement speech at Kenyon College. It's a lengthier mantra but worth the read. For the full article click here. x

"Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble." 

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