Putting our Heads Together

Putting our Heads Together
I don't think he sees me

Friday, November 28, 2014

One Foot after the Other

Lao Tzu was a pain in the butt.  He was a key philosopher for Taoism.  He said (among countless other things), “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  He knew what he was really saying with this one seemingly innocuous statement.  Lao was taking our focus from the daunting distant dream and placing that focus at our feet and the path.  He was reducing the great effort to a single step.  Loa wasn’t challenging us to our dreams, but mocking us for not already moving toward them.  It is perhaps the biggest Double Dog Dare in history.
My pen is heavy and my spirit weak, but when I hang my head in shame of this, I see my feet and am compelled to take a step, and then the inevitable next. One foot in front of the other, pacing my way to a blog, an essay, a story?, a collection? – who knows? This collection of small efforts leading to larger ones simply because a Chinese philosopher with a wry smile and evil wit called out mankind twenty-six hundred years ago, six hundred years before Christ showed the full meaning courage of beginning with a single step.
I just finished a book recommended by Jan Henry, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. Dr. Frankl was a brilliant psychiatrist, closet philosopher, and survivor of WWII Death Camps. He writes of what it took to survive the camps and what it takes to not survive life, but to thrive in life. He writes that joy in living is not in pleasure but in meaning. That is to find meaning in life’s moments and ultimately meaning in one’s life fully. One little moment of meaning to the next, the sum of which total to a meaningful life. Viktor Frankl, did you read Lao Tzu, or did you simply and naturally yield to the pull of that particular gravity of truth to share it with the world through your life and your meaning?
This the day after Thanksgiving, and I carry not just the warmth of food in my belly, but all I have to be thankful for. Then I look down and seem my feet. I look down and take my next step. I look down and I smile, not for all that I am thankful for, but for whatever I will be thankful for from this moment to the next. So now it’s my turn to be a pain, what will you be thankful for tomorrow?

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