Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I fear for the future of our generation. For some reason it seems that it has become cool to become “chill” – to just not care. I fear that we have created a new mantra for our generation: “Shun the soul who cares too much. Relax. Put out the fire.” And we wonder why, five years down the road, we feel our lives are empty as we dread Monday through Friday just to get to the glorious weekend.
Happiness was a philosophical college dream. How often do you go on vacation from school or work, hoping that that is where you can find happiness? And when you come back to “real life,” does it hurt when you realize that true, lasting happiness has evaded you once again? As you awake in your bed, it is again Monday. And you think two things: “I cannot wait to get back here. I cannot wait until the weekend.” The weekend arrives and you are only saddened that it has not come sooner. Happiness? Please, I am just trying to survive the week. As if we were meant to squander away our lives merely surviving.
Where do we find this happiness that often seems so fleeting and elusive? It is not to be found in some far off vacation time on the calendar of tomorrows. Rather, it is to be found today and it is to be found within you! It is to be found in the grateful discovery and humble exploitation of the gifts that God has hardwired into your own heart. Never surrender your spirit to those unspoken, yet potent societal rules that hold you to the standard of being lifelessly “chill” – a vicious euphemism that domesticates our true and unbridled desires.
The late theologian Howard Thurman once quipped, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive … what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Let that holy fire that burns within you be visible through the song of your life. Fire spreads. So light your candle now and find that incredible life that awaits you.