My message is for all, but especially for my son. As true as this may be, the reality is that I write for myself. When I was young, I often put myself into seemingly inescapable predicaments. I didn’t always know who to talk to. The solutions I was looking for were not found easily. In these times of great distress, pen and paper acted as magnets and drew me toward them. It was in the words that I found my therapy. It was a haven to freely express what was in my mind.
Although writing was instrumental in the dark times, it took years for me to realize its value when things didn’t appear so bleak. Through this medium, I found both a greater sense of direction and purpose. Words on paper was a means to prevent the lethargy that comes with comfort.
Write to please just one person.
Of course, my words are intended as a message for all who would read them. But I cannot do this when I am at odds within. The writing gives me pleasure because it brings me into alignment with my soul. It brings me closer to harmony with the universe. Yes, it is a message for all. But in the end, it is ultimately for me.
There is one guy who dresses way too good for the work he does. He dresses like a boss, but the quality of his work is substandard to that of an average employee. He tries to look the part and to talk the part, but sadly his looks do not match his actions.
There is another guy who has taken this to a whole new level. Skinny growing up, he wanted to change his appearance. The drive was so intense, and his internal substance was so under-developed, that he began doing steroids. 20 years later, he is still doing them. His vanity has extended into other parts of his life. He has the over-sized house, the way too expensive boat, and of course the brand new, jacked-up truck that completes the image he is hoping to achieve. He is looking for validation but is missing something on the inside.
“Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.” –Kurt Vonnegut
Are these two on to something? Can we just pretend and then become what we pretend to be? Or is it something more. Could be that Vonnegut was referring to something deeper, something with more substance.
Outward appearances without the internal substance will only leave us only as pretenders. It is our character and our actions that define us. And although it is easy to see the vanity in others and even criticize it, can I be this critical of myself? I need to keep my own vanity in check and be the harshest judge of my actions. Humility should always be at the forefront.
One acts rich but has nothing; another acts poor but has great wealth. -Proverbs 13:7