Monday, July 25, 2005

to lead a fulfilled life...

PBS's "guns germs and steel" miniseries, based on the book of that name, closes with a quote from a Zambian health care worker in which she says, "The control of malaria will mean an improvement in the welfare of the people, and an improvement in the welfare of the people will mean increased productivity, and increased productivity will mean that we will be a wealthy nation, because that will mean that then people will have sufficient, not only food but sufficient time to do things that make a human being complete and whole and able to lead a fulfilled life."

...To lead a fulfilled life. These are big words. There is so much behind the idea of leading a fulfilled life; and the factors that lead one person to live such a life, when another does not, seem almost beyond comprehension. I too, in my greatest estimation of myself, am dedicated to seeing that people around me are able to lead a fulfilled life. Most of us are, it seems.

And this is why it is so difficult for many of us... for me... when those around us fall short. We, I, wish to impose my will upon them, to give them the gift of fulfillment. But fulfillment can only come from within. We can create the environment for fulfillment, increase the chances that if one desires to attain fulfillment, they have that oppertunity. But we cannot give it to them. We cannot wrap it up in a box and leave it at their door. They must themselves, not only reach out and grab it, but strive for it every day... by themselves.

And waiting for them is the hardest part. Who is to say that they will finally get there? How do we know that they are determined to stay on the path? Must we have faith that all will work out in the end? How many have lived before us, only to have this same faith misplaced and unrewarded?

1 comment:

josh williams said...

"And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather