DId you ever wonder, when you woke early one morning where the time had gone?
Did you ever wonder, when you woke early one morning why the dreams you dreamed had evaporated?
Did you ever wonder, when you woke early one morning why you still had the empty feeling after doing so much?
Maybe today was the day when doing fell aside and you let go of the dreams and simply enjoyed the sunrise.
The words above stir in me the question of why is it after so many years of checking off the to dos on my list I feel that they will never end. I wonder what is really important and why I can’t seem to find the meaning in the next meeting that I am planning to attend.
The constant doing without meaning is a source of many of the challenges I face. For instance, how many times have I worried, “will I have enough”. Enough money. Enough intelligence. Enough good luck. Enough things. Enough love. Whatever the worry, at the center of it is the same feeling, “I need more or I will feel a sense of failure” This drive to do to acquire, to run ahead, is prevalent in everything that I can see.
One of my 2 and 1/2 year olds favorite stories is “The Lorax” (Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel). In this story, there is a character named the Once-ler, who finds discovers in his traveling around a place that is a paradise. Now rather than enjoying the beauty of this paradise, what he sees in it is a place to create wealth for himself and his family.
Another prominent character in this book is of course the Lorax. The Lorax is a guardian for the trees that are a central part of this paradise. Their tufts are softer than silk and are the object of the Once-ler’s desire. For he and his family are turning them into an almost magical fabric that everyone wants.
The Lorax challenges the Once-ler on several occasions to consider the consequence of his consumption of these trees. The Once-ler is annoyed and at one point lets the Lorax know that his focus is being bigger and bigger and bigger. The inevitable end of this unchecked consumption is the demise of paradise. The animals all move away and the trees are all harvested and the Once-ler is left alone to consider what he has wrought.
So I wonder if the drive that I feel to do and do and do is much like the Once-ler. It is without awareness of the cost to myself of this constant toiling without making sure there is meaning in every step.