Often, my days feel like hump days. This is not to say that I feel like each day is Wednesday and I’m as far away from the weekend as I have ever been.
Rather, I feel like there is a large hump directly in front of me.
While the terms thinking and acting are not mutually exclusive, given that these terms represent somewhat opposing points on a philosophical scale I would be severely lop-sided. In fact, I’ve just attempted to write that last sentence no less than seven separate times and I’m still not completely satisfied.
It is very much the case that I have a love-hate relationship with my pensive persona. Thinking is an activity I highly recommend and I feel that if more of us did so (particularly before opening our mouths) more of us would be better off. However, I also recognize that there is a great barrier that a thoughtful person has to overcome: inaction. The inaction barrier keeps pens glued to the thoughtful person’s hand and buttocks glued to the thoughtful person’s chair. “Brilliance cannot be rushed!” is the justification that we thoughtful people like to invoke but, for me at least, this I feel like this inaction simply became me. I didn’t choose to sit on the philosopher’s stone – rather circumstances plopped me down there and I haven’t been bothered to move since.
If you have been around here long enough, you may remember my thoughts on “active vs passive” – great lessons taught to me be a therapist somewhere along the way. Essentially, the discussion is summed up by saying that an active life is one in when you try to alter the circumstances to suit your spirit, and the passive life is when the circumstances alter you to suit them.
I am a thinker no because my spirit declared it so, but because I succumbed to a set of circumstances. These “circumstances” have firmly fixed an inaction barrier in front of me made up of a combination of fear, a lack of confidence, laziness, and confusion. I’m generally fearful of the unknown. Only recently have I been able to develop any kind of baseline level of confidence that you would expect a 30 year-old man to have. I’m not lazy, I just enjoy lingering moments of relaxation. And, I’m not even sure where to start.
Take for example my “thoughts” about wanting to work to eradicate poverty (I’m starting small). Of course this is no trivial matter, but let’s start this discussion assuming that I am approaching this from a neighborhood perspective – “What can I do just outside my front door?” I have tons of thoughts on this – I’ve read about it, talked about it with other people, and wrote down some of these things. But when it comes time to act, I almost couldn’t be bothered. It’s not that I don’t care: I care deeply about this. But my actions simply aren’t there – they’re practically non-existent.
Perhaps I’m thinking too practically about this. I’m not saying that I don’t act when I see opportunities to or that I don’t seek out chances to do something. Simply, I’m saying that more often than not, when I come home from work I’m happy to not be committed to doing something.
I have great “thoughts” that I want my life to mean something. I want to have made an impact. But my actions simply don’t seem to line up with this thought process.
Frankly, I don’t know where to start. The socially-aware premise to state that it’s all about connections. I don’t have (or don’t feel like I have) the connections to move from discussion to practical action and I don’t have the confidence to seek them out. Right now, my fear wins out over my desire. This is a tension-filled existence.
Granted, it could also be that I’m wired to be a thinker – I’m not arguing this. At the end of the day, though, I want to know that the things that I did not do weren’t the result of my own justifying excuses. If I’m not to do something great, I want it to be because otherwise I would be fighting all of the powers of creation that knit me together.
I don’t want to be beaten by the hump.