Monday, February 20, 2012

The chicken and egg make peace


Egg shell sculpture by Kyle Bean

The whole chicken/egg conundrum can easily drive one to distraction.  A case can be made for either side, but in the end does it really matter?  Is it not more important that both exist?  And frankly, if physicists are correct in their assertions that our concept of time and sequence is inaccurate, then there would be no coming 'first' for either one!

The same sort of cause/effect questions may be found in many aspects of life.  Does success bring us happiness or, in truth, does happiness bring us success?  Psychologists' surveys and research suggest the latter.    

Given that our attitude has such a tremendous impact on our wellbeing, happiness, and enjoyment of any activity in particular, it stands to reason that we can expect to be happy and joyous no matter what our general circumstances.

So then does this mean that we should not do the things we love most?  Not let our light shine in our own unique and essential way?  Not at all.  It simply means that we can be happy and enjoy ourselves whether we are writing the great American novel or doing the dishes; whether we are watching our child take his first step or changing a flat tire; because we can find the beauty and grace in the moment -- and bring some of the loveliest aspects of our character to bear on any situation.

As for the things we love to do most, I have often pondered whether we enjoy the things we excel at because we are good at them, or is it we excel at these activities because we enjoy them..... It is at that point that chickens and eggs begin to dance around the periphery of my thoughts.  

One thing I do know with certainty is that we all have gifts; and these gifts are meant to bless and bring joy to ourselves, those near to us, and those from afar who are benefited by who we are and what we do.  And so it is actually not a bit selfish to give consecrated thought to what we enjoy most, what about our character and talents we enjoy most; and then go after ways to employ those gifts and talents.  For if we cultivate and use the tools in our individual bags of tricks we will find we are so happy and content and productively active that we no longer see an issue of chickens and eggs.... just joy and purpose for all, regardless of their stage of life.