Dose #2: The Joy of Rediscovery
From the beginning man asked - "What's over the hill?" - more resources, greater challenge, the unknown, seduced, enlivened by the new, the strange, the mysterious, the human desire for mastery.
Today, surrounded by bright, shiny objects - multiples of everything to choose from - we persist in a restless search, driven as much by fear of missing out, the lure of power, the fragile ego, as by healthy curiosity - the next (perfect) love, ideal (prestigious) home, larger income, elevating status, better body, smarter approach. What other people have. What we're told we should want. What we hope will, at last, make us happy.
We live in a mass of whirring chatter shouting at us from every angle - the demanding voice of the television barker, the inter'net', designed to capture the mind and manipulate behaviour, social media tempting us to peer in through the windows of people we'll never meet. And, when we dare look, we marvel at the (perceived) perfection of those we see, far more engaged, talented, beautiful and interesting than we could hope to be.
As Marshall McLuhan said, "...things coming at you so fast, you lose touch with yourself."
And when we lose touch, we don't feel well - we grow unsettled. Confused. We're not more, but less, creative. Less resourceful. What's the answer? How are we supposed to live? There's an urgency to the question...a need to know before it's too late.
At first when something is acquired, we see it as 'amazing', not only for its newness, but the enthusiasm we feel born of the effort and sacrifice we made to get it in the first place.
The wish to achieve, to gain, arouses the senses - we listen better, carefully consider how to please the object of our desire, look for creative ways to do our job, lovingly select the right touch of beauty for our nest, then see what's accomplished through a glow of wonder and appreciation. Engagement makes us feel good.
But, is it only in the new we find good feelings? Step back...take a fresh look. Re-read the book you read 20 years ago and see yourself anew. Fix the broken table. Polish your old shoes. Wonder once again about the person you think you know so well. Buy a fresh set of tires for the faithful, rattling car. Rearrange your furnishings. Once neglected, there's a thrill seeing possessions and people come back to life.
Yes, there are times when more or better is honest. But, to resist, to replace frenzy with quiet, internal exploration, to replace longing for answers from those all too willing to convince you of what is right - with your own, well considered, fresh point of view - may be another, less practiced path to reward.
There is joy in rediscovery.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ~E. B. White
Thank you. ah