Castles in the Sky and Big Red Barns on Earth

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Isn’t my little Microsoft free clip art barn adorable?

I like to believe I’m a castle builder.  I dream pretty big.  I really can’t stand being told, “that’s just not realistic.”

Of course it’s not realistic!  Nothing wonderful ever is, until someone does it.  Then, suddenly, it doesn’t seem so difficult at all.

Example: Picture yourself in 1982, telling someone, “I want to sit in my living room and write down an idea that people all over the world will read the instant I’m done expressing it.”  Certainly that is NOT realistic!  Right?  Well…  it turns out that’s not such an unrealistic thing after all.  I’m doing it right now.

Hippies are BIG dreamers.  What do we want for Christmas?  A new sweater? A car?  NO! We want world peace.  We want all the hungry people in the world to be fed.  We want an end to disease, an end to corporate greed and corruption, good education for everyone.  We want a lot!

“World peace just isn’t realistic.”

I simply don’t accept that.

“There isn’t enough food to feed 7 billion people.  The earth can’t sustain us all.”

Really? My family alone probably throws away enough food to feed a whole other family the same size as ours.

I used to be a part of a business where those “above” me were constantly pushing us to dream big.  Bigger.  BIGGER!!!  One man-made a comment to this effect:  “People ask me when I knew I had ‘arrived.’  I haven’t!  The day you feel like, ‘there! I’ve done it!’ is the day you die because you’ve nothing more to strive for… no more reasons to get out of bed in the morning.”

I agree.  Have goals.  Big, Bigger, BIGGER goals.  Reach for the stars!  Be totally, completely, absurdly unrealistic.  Build your castles among the clouds!  Be successful! Get rich! Become famous! Achieve something beyond the wildest expectations of those around you.

AND

Be content.  Right now.  With what you have and where you are.

Do you live in a crappy little one room apartment with rusty plumbing and an odd, lingering aroma of cabbage?  GREAT!  How wonderful that you have shelter! You have a place of your very own that you can retreat to when the world becomes too much to bear.

Consider the people in the world who are the happiest.  They are, often times, the people who don’t have  much in the way of material things, yet they are wealthy beyond measure in those things that are intangible.  They have friends and family and faith.  I can’t help but picture an Amish family.  To me, they are the  very embodiment of simplicity and contentment and peace.  It makes me want to call all my neighbors together and build a big red barn in my backyard!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that material things are bad.  I love my stuff.  I take comfort in it.  I heard someone say, once, “It is not bad to be rich.  You can’t get poor enough to help the poor.  You can’t get sick enough to help the sick.”  In the biographical movie, “Gandhi,” one of Gandhi’s closest advisors tells him, “It takes a great deal of money to keep you in this level of poverty.”  Money is a powerful tool and the lack of it is frustrating, but if you spend all of your time chasing after money you will forget the beauty of right now.

What it all boils down to, I think, is this:

Dream big.  Bigger.  BIGGER!  Don’t let anyone hold you back! Fly, little bird!

AND

Take the time to appreciate all that you have right now, in this moment.  In being content now that you will find the strength to do something impossible.

That’s my deep thought for today.  Now, take your shoes off and go walk in the morning dew.

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6 responses »

  1. But I appreciate the shoes and socks I have right now. I don’t want to walk barefoot in the dew. And then my mother see my tattoo and yell at my 36 year old self and cause me stress. Can I pet my shedding dog instead?

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes it’s a hard balance to be motivated to achieve greatness and to be content with the present at the same time. I practice this everyday and my husband has difficulty understanding – he thinks this represents complacency or lack of goal orientation. Happy to read your post!

    • Yes, I get the same thing. People think that if you are not freaking out about something you don’t care. Maybe someday your zen will wear off on him and then he’ll understand. My husband’s zen rubbed off on me. I’m much more content since I’ve known him.

  3. Absolutely! It’s a difficult balance but my life is a constant struggle to find balance. And every time I think I’ve achieved it, I fall off the wire.
    Last night I was feeling strangely balanced and then I woke up and my morning disintegrated. I walked in the morning doo instead of the morning dew. Now I’m just kind of hanging from the wire, but I’ll get up there again.

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