Today is my Pawpaw's birthday. He would have been 85. Much of who I am I attribute to him. The wisdom imparted, I carry with me all the time down the many roads that I travel. One of the things that he would always say to me was: "Son, be where you're at." Now those of you that know me, know that I love the road. I love traveling and seeing other places. I like to kick my feet up, stay a while, and look around if at all possible. I would venture to say that I've had more addresses than you're average individual. I've seen quite a few countries and amassed quite a few frequent flyer miles going hither and yon. Some may say that I have an acute case of wanderlust and that I can't sit still. Others have said that when I am done searching for whatever it is that I'm searching for, I will settle down. Well, who knows exactly what it is. However, as of late, I have begun to hear these words with new ears as I watch friends and family struggling to find a place for themselves in this life. Eventhough they are not all necessarily globetrotting looking for their place of peace they are still wandering in one of the most vast frontiers yet to be explored...their own lives. So much of what we call our lives is spent trying to live someone elses. Trying to dress like him, make the same money as her, live in a house the same size as the one that family lives in, etc. We live our lives standing on the shores of "if only" watching other people splash around in the ocean. Fine. If that is where you want to be, stay there. Just don't stand and wish you could be swimming and neglect to build your own castle...even the shore is what you make it.
And that's what I feel was my Pawpaw's lesson. My own mantras were...if I could only play piano better, or if only I had a manager, a better voice, more time to read and study. I was wandering around in a world of comparisons and man made standards that were designed to keep me longing for something more or someone else's place. This is a world of mirage, vain imagining, and misplaced longing where no one is self-actualized and everyone is reduced to mediocrity because of a lack of focus and meditation on their true purpose for being granted another day in the land of the living...another day in the skin that their in. Each individual is granted unique capacities. Period. There are just some things that will never appear in this world unless one arises to manifest those hidden gems before the world. The only way to get to this abiding sense of purpose is reflection and rigorous self-examination. In other words, wander in place for a minute or two each day and speak to your soul. Seek out and cultivate your unique talents and release them into the world...not in competition with other who manifest a similiar gift but as a contribution to the garden of human potential. Manifest your beauty, Sing with your voice, Be where you're at...then go where that takes you.
Happy Birthday Pawpaw.