Over the years I have kept a collection of quotations by famous people down through the centuries. Their words of wisdom have been my inspiration for many of my actions and my writing.
The following quote by Cecil DeMille* was my inspiration for this post which is long overdue:
“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what is next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”
This past year I have had to make some tough choices which have disrupted my comfort zone. I have discovered that it’s not easy to not know where you will be living or what you will be doing a year from now. However, what I have learned is that the ‘not knowing’ what the future holds has helped me to know what resilience truly means and how necessary it is in times of great change such as we are facing today. It requires great strength and creativity which in itself is good because I will have lived instead of dying even a little bit.
I must admit that my generation has had a fairly easy time of it. I say this because my life’s journey began just when World War 11 was ending and heralding in the beginning of what became known as the ‘baby boomer’ generation. A period of great significance for me was in the ’60’s when after two destructive world wars, those who survived were naive enough to believe we were heading for a long period of peace.
Well, we know that didn’t happen. Less than a decade later there was the Korean war, followed by a non-sensical war in Viet Nam, and ever since numerous other atrocities throughout our world. However, what we did know through this boom era was that we could count on having jobs, better education, relative safety, opportunities for more travel, and just about more of everything.
In spite of this relatively good time, we haven’t done that well. As DeMille says, we seemed to have died a little. Is that because we haven’t learned to take calculated risks to deal with the changes that life invariably hands out to us? Is it because we have still not learned how to live in love rather than fear? I would have to agree with him and say ‘yes’ this has been our down fall.
As we face unprecedented changes with their accompanying problems, we are realising that we all must learn to become more resilient in our approach to life. We must rid ourselves of our excess baggage no longer serving us which includes, not just some of our personal belongings, but also old beliefs which have been passed down to us through the ages. The difficulty with doing this is in determining what is no longer of benefit to us. What is it that keeps us stuck in our old way of doing things and prevents us from moving forward? What is it that we fear and how do we turn that to love? These are the questions all of us as individuals, or leaders in any capacity, and especially our politicians must ask. For those who might think this is an impossible task, think of it as something akin to weeding a garden. By all means keep the good weeds, but get rid of the bad ones.
So as I bring this piece of wisdom to a close, I want to thank Cecil DeMille for his insight which has prompted me to get back to my writing. Like many writers, I have been dealing with the so-called ‘writer’s block’ stemming from lack of subjects to write about since I haven’t been on the road of travel, lack of time in my days, or plain old lack of motivation. Upon reading his quotation, I was able to pull his thoughts into mine, thus, creating this tapestry of thoughts swirling around in my head for some time. I hope that his thoughts and mine will resonate with some of you, and that you will take the time to offer some comments and insights of your own.
Cecil DeMille ( actor, director/producer, play write) was born in 1881 and died in 1959. Known as the founder of the Hollywood film industry, he is noted for such block busters as, The Squaw Man, The King of Kings, The Ten Commandments, and The Greatest Show on Earth.
Here are some of his other famous quotes:
“Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.”
“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. This is dedication.”