||[Dec. 13th, 2006|02:12 am]
|||||A solemn pledge||]|
“Are you living your life in a way that is worthy of the sacrifice of those that came before you?”
This is a concept I've been debating for a long while now. "Are we living worthy lives." To answer the question, one must first establish that our lives are gifts, gifts that others worked long and hard to give us everything that we have. Our parents, our ancestors, our government, our teachers, our soldiers, our philosophers, our scientists, our garbagemen, with a list spanning out through all of human history. What have they given us? Besides for their time, their lives, their money, their attention, their services, their effort, their ideas, their love, their hopes. Aside from those things, what have they ever done for us?
What does it mean to honor someone or something? What does it mean to give of ourselves purely for the sake of respect? Where does the line lie that we should give until?
For me, there is never enough that I could be doing for myself and for others. This is not altruism, this is a sense of debt that will never be repaid, towards those who came before. I feel obliged to help others, if only to honor the memory of the people who gave so much to ensure that we would have the things we have. However, it is not a thankless task, to give to others. It is a fool that would ask a crippled man for support - thus I invest my energy primarily into becoming a stronger and wiser person, and by doing so, gain strength to lend to others. There is a sense of transcendence of the problems I work to resolve, that by growing as a person, the problems lessen in their intensity. The things that would have bothered me years ago are now nothing! It fascinates me, to think that the trials I endure now will one day be so easy to handle. My problems will be more complex, more difficult, more challenging, and ultimately more rewarding. To have strength and ability at such a level that even the more esoteric of my problems will seem trivial! And this, simply because I choose to dedicate myself to furthering the works that our predecessors set in motion. The ancient Greeks had marvelous ideas - splendid! Let me think new ideas, let me find the strengths and faults in their beliefs that they themselves did not see - they would expect nothing less if I were in their company today. Ancient healers refused money for their works? Excellent! Let me understand that healing capacity and the charitable nature in which they healed. They would demand it of themselves - why should I not? Let me rule myself by the wisdom of leaders and appreciate and respect them for the mistakes they made, that I might have the opportunity to grow beyond them.
Solely for the realization that others did it of their own free will should we be willing to shoulder the same burdens. We live in a world of perpetual firsts. The fact that others have explored something does not mean that it will never be a frontier again - there are limitless ways to understand the world and in which to guide it. Others have gone before us. They have given us the groundwork with which to explode outward into a world of newness, of unpredictability and untested ideas. They have given us the framework, the starting points, the leads, the clues, and the seeds. As others have come before us, so we too must prepare a way for those will come after. We are the inspiration of the future, and the essence of the now.
Grant me the courage to fight as a warrior.
Grant me the strength to rule as a leader.
Grant me the wisdom to guide as a teacher.
Grant me the humility to live as a servant.
Grant me the peace to live as a human.