Friday, December 30, 2022

Past the Pretense - Maturity

Today, I read a post where actor William Shatner talked about his journey to space and instead of finding a feeling of connectedness and desire to go explore, he was faced with the absolute reality hitting him that our planet is an "oasis of life" among an "immensity of death."  He said that he felt bad for his part in promoting looking OUT THERE or going way, rather than focus and care on what you have in this planet.  I think you can easily expand that message to other areas than space travel, as we often look for an escape to other places or other alternatives, rather than putting in the time and effort to either make what we have grow or use what we have to get more.  I'm currently about to start using my accounting degree, again, to that end.  But, I think it has a lot to do with our maturity level, which I will describe below.

I remember when I was working in accounting for several years a while ago and was in a position where I needed an assistant.  They asked me what to look for in an employee.  They asked what degree they would need.  I downplayed the degree to them, saying that anyone could have a degree, learning methods that probably wouldn't be used on the job.  What I wanted was someone that was able to multi-task, show initiative, be a hard worker, and took responsibility for their work.  But, so much of our society likes to look at DEGREES or titles or etc.  I've always been more... what is the job to do and what do we need to do it... kinda person.

When we are young, we stick to the pretense of the value of a degree, and we feel we are so SUCCESSFUL to get one.  Meanwhile, experienced managers just laugh and say... what have you done to show me what you will do?  But, it's more than just work.  We look at potential people for relationships as we are young, and we are like... but they have THIS flaw or THAT flaw.  It's like Chandler in Friends going through his list of flaws he had for past people, as he lamented being alone.  We note the flaws, because we are looking for the picture of perfection that we see on tv screens by ACTORS, in magazines by MODELS and in characters in FICTION books.

Then, we get older.

I think everyone in their 40s goes through a necessary cynical phase, where they begin to question everything, and the filter pretty much disappears, as they no longer feel the need to PRETEND to please others, anymore.  It can be a jaded time, and it can make someone pretty unattractive and unapproachable, all by itself.  But... why did I say "necessary" cynical phase?  It's because of what comes next.  Once you have stopped living by society pretenses, you start focusing on what DOES work... what will actually get you what you desire and what you can do with what you HAVE, instead of bitterness for what you don't.

This leads to the wisdom that comes with maturity.  Like the prior stage, you don't buy into the lies that guide so many in what they seek for mates, jobs, activities, and more.  But, the feeling of being betrayed has passed, as you realize what you see around you is what your parents saw and what you kids will see.  It's life stages.  Then, you begin to pity those bound by their delusions, rather than confront them over them... because you know from personal experience that to confront them as an elder would just inspire them to do them, more.  It is that it is, and they must just live it and grow from the difficulty.

I think this is a lot why it is that when we return to God or religion after a time apart, we find God there smiling and waiting.  Why?  He pities us.  WE were the hotheads that knew better, and He knew that it would take our society going through painful challenges or lack, before we would say... know what?  Life WOULD be better with more guiding rules, more focus on love, than selfish theft and anger, and etc.  And, I think FINALLY we are calm enough as we get older to be interesting company for Him to talk to and commune with.

Recently, I re-watched Gods of Egypt, again... great movie. In it, Ra said, "They were both equal in my eyes... as is all of my creation... with the uncertainty of it's destiny is my will." I know it's a fiction film and about another religion, but it has a universal truth, I think.  We are often bothered that God is not intervening in our lives to fix the "important" things in our perspective.  But, especially with recent revelations that often God's blessing is waiting on our actions, which he won't do for us... we must realize that a lot of what we think SO important is just the passions of youth to an infinite God, waiting for us to grow and mature from them as a society and as individuals.  Just like teachers will say its more important for a kid to understand a concept than get a certain score, I think God is more interested in creating experienced and wise children than giving them all the answers.

So.. this topic wandered a bit, but the main theme would be this.  There are many pretenses out there in life that are SO important to so many that are actually less important to their end goals than they think, but they must learn that on their own.  In our own lives, we should stop looking OUT THERE for solutions to minor problems and start spending some time to see how we can resolve them.  Then, we may find more happiness in our peaceful surrender to wisdom than we ever did challenging the Divine.

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