Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fat Man on a Ladder

If I weighed five-hundred pounds, that wouldn’t preclude me from giving decent weight-loss advice. If I knew everything about balancing intakes of good foods; if I knew the ideal caloric intake per day; if I recognized the need for exercise, I would still be the giver of good advice for passing this stuff along. My fatness would not affect the actual quality of my advice in the least.
Alas, knowing and doing are distinctly different things; yet, how many people have said that they have a hard time taking the advice of their overweight doctor who smokes Camels? Illogical, but understandable.
Yes, knowing and doing are two different things.
So what if there were a guy who faithfully writes a blog that posits fairly consistent ideas -- things like independence of thought; things like realizing the need to separate the self from community; things like simplifying a life full of extraneous things and appreciating the truly meaningful moments around us -- and what if that guy were to suddenly find himself in a position to have a good grab at the things he always writes about…but he doesn’t do it.
Why doesn't he do it? Perhaps the reasons look like pride and fear; like choosing comfort over opportunity. Maybe it’s a sense of fatherly responsibility -- maybe obligation to someone he loves more than the things he loves.
What if I find myself on the proverbial ladder of modest financial progress and what if the window of just a few years ago remains below me? What if that lower window gives a glimpse of a really happy room? -- but a happy room with spring-broken furniture and corners clouded with the cobwebs of minor financial worry? Is it so much worse than the new window that I find myself looking into -- the clean room full of shiny things; the one where money flows a bit more freely?
No. It’s not.
So why not climb back down a little, comfortable in knowing that the good and the bad are all things I can handle full well? Why not shrug off the draining responsibilities I have carried for so long in order to make a real run at doing the things I really love for a living (like writing and making music)?
Maybe I’m a five-hundred pound Weight Watcher‘s instructor. Or, maybe life is more complex than anyone can reason out. Maybe figuring it out is about as fruitful as sorting out the colors of individual grains in a square inch of beach in the middle of the Atlantic coast.
One thing’s for sure: knowing and doing are two different things. Still, knowing is hard.

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