Blessed, with Responsibility

Day 30: Friday

Morning, Tim!

Depending on how you count it, we’ve been at it for a month! I figured I’d count it this way so that I could note it before you did (though you could have made a claim regarding “But February only has…” A missed opportunity…).

[…] Close our eyes and imagine somewhere we would like to be if we could be anywhere in the world.  When we opened our eyes he asked if the place anyone had imagined was room 312 YC high school.  I was the only one who raised their hand.  Maybe I was over thinking things, but if I really wanted to be somewhere else, wouldn’t I just get up and leave?

Decisions are a challenging thing. To be fair to your 14 year old classmates, I wonder if they really did have the power to go where they’d like. Perhaps some thought “man, I’d love to be at tacobell!” (depending on the hour of your class, perhaps Starbucks…). But others probably imagined the word Italy (it’s probably hard to imaging if you haven’t gone) or somewhere foreign – and where was a 14 year old to get the means to travel to Italy? Even getting up and leaving wouldn’t get them there. And so of course they sat in class, for that’s what they were told to do, many with the hope that life would be a long conditional. “If I do this [e.g. sit in school like I’m told], I’ll get to do that [e.g. go on vacation where I’d like, or perhaps even live there depending on my willingness to dream…]”

Or you could be an odd boy, realizing this train of thought, and….suggested that this was the place you wanted to be. I was that boy too…

Leaving your work would be an administrative decision that you make about the infrastructure of your life.  We don’t make those kind of decisions on a daily basis.

You don’t state it explicitly, but your discussion of decisions, infrastructure life decisions in particular, seems to lean toward an inability in at least some cases to truly make these changes. There are people who can make them (e.g. Jim Koch founded Sam Adams brewery after being fed up with consulting – but it was precisely because he was a management consultant that he was in a position to quit). In cases such as these, he describes them as scary but not dangerous; not dangerous because the other option was dangerous – looking back at 65 and wondering why he spent his whole life doing management consulting when that’s not what he wanted to do. I can appreciate this line of thought – I have been blessed with opportunities; while I work hard, I also know I’m lucky to be in the position I am.

In other cases, though, it is dangerous to make those infrastructure changes. For a single mom with three kids, there isn’t much room for adventure in the job market, nor to simply “get up and leave” because the consequences mount so high – hungry kids, an unpaid mortgage, utility bills mounting. Or, much worse, someone in a war-torn country who can’t leave because they literally can’t. They have nowhere to take refuge, no country to take them in.

Obviously you know all of this; I’m merely reflecting on decisions, infrastructure choices in particular. Reflecting on the choices I deliberate over…

I feel blessed to be able to even have the options I have in my choices. I also wonder what responsibility comes along with those options…

Until Monday,

Zak

p.s. I hope you chose to join the choir. Also if you do, I’ll anticipate a good picture of you doing some handshaking…

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5 thoughts on “Blessed, with Responsibility

  1. “I figured I’d count it this way so that I could note it before you did (though you could have made a claim regarding ‘But February only has…’ A missed opportunity…).”
    You expect me to get this joke? I wouldn’t even know what day of the week it was if it weren’t for this blog of ours, and now you’re throwing this, some kind of esoteric calendar humor at me!?

    Like

  2. “I wonder if they really did have the power to go where they’d like.”
    It seems like you’re falling into the very delusion I was reacting against. We mustn’t confuse unwillingness with inability.

    Sure, it would be difficult for most 14-year olds to randomly fly off to Italy at a moments notice, but that doesn’t mean it would be impossible. They could rob a bank, print a fake passport, and buy a plane ticket in cash at the airport. When most people weigh all the consequences that could come with a decision like that, they end up preferring to sit through a dull high school philosophy class.

    In my view that means they are there because they choose to be. Room 312 is in fact the place they would most like to be out of all the infinite places that they could be in the world.

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    • But they may not have the ability, right? Presumably it takes some smarts to pull this all off — who says they could rob the bank successfully? You just throw that out casually like there is some sure-fire way to take money and flee the country…

      You’re suggesting they have the option to try to go to Italy. But they don’t have that option unless they first try to get the means…so they are a step removed from even having Italy as an option.

      I agree with your conclusion though, and note that…”And so of course they sat in class, for that’s what they were told to do, many with the hope that life would be a long conditional. “If I do this [e.g. sit in school like I’m told], I’ll get to do that [e.g. go on vacation where I’d like, or perhaps even live there depending on my willingness to dream…]””. They sit in class because that’s what they want to do because they have other desires they want to fulfill.

      And because they may not make good bank robbers…

      Liked by 1 person

      • “You just throw that out casually like there is some sure-fire way to take money and flee the country…”
        Hmm… maybe the kids at your high school were very different from mine.

        Liked by 1 person

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