We live in a culture of entitlement. There it's been said. We all feel like we should get what we deserve in the end. That though is the issue, we're so focused on the end. Recent discussions with former professors and student cohorts regarding the idea that "The sense of entitlement to a degree has surpassed the desire to gain an education" have brought me to a place where I wonder how we can become more focused on the journey instead of the results. Is that even still possible? What will it take to realize that where we live, learn, and love is not a place, but a process?
I'm surprised by the amount of energy expended trying to figure out what it will take to get teachers to press the "pass" button, to get the bare minimum to advance in careers (if I do this and this, I should get a promotion, and if not I can spin it into a better job), to find the excuses, to find the fun, to find anything that gives us a moment of enjoyment. If we put half that energy into our passions and took our time that we waste wishing and hoping and thinking that things are impossible for us to focus on each other and those passions how much more would we love the journey. We fear loss, we fear failure, we fear risk, because we've been taught there is far to fall, but if we were to realize that there isn't a final win or loss, but just a whole life to live and find joy in.
We should want to learn, to discover, to investigate the world around us throughout life. If we're not seeking then we're claiming that we know all the answers and there is nothing more to life that what we're currently doing. If that is the case we should be a world full of people who are always joyful and always energized, yet no matter who I talk to it seems that someone is still looking for something, or unhappy with something, or wishing for something. Thus there is still more to life than any of us understand, a better life, a life that is closer to the one we're designed for. There is something more than the ends, and while some may interpret what I'm saying to be that we should strive for "more," what I'm really saying is quite the opposite.
We should find more joy in the journey. We should stop wishing things were different and be the change that we want to see. We should expand our knowledge willingly, we should walk faithfully following those natural pulls within us to something greater than self, we should want to be challenged, to be involved with those we encounter and not just passing by on our way from point A to point B.
How many of us even know what those points are? What happens when we reach them? Are we then back to searching for a new purpose? Truly happy?
The things that would just be different if we checked our entitlement at the door are amazing. If we're all just really seeking and searching then there is no best way, no best place, no me vs you, but just a bunch of different thoughts that we can share and learn from, places we can stretch and push ourselves. Yes, there are things that would be essential, but they are written into the idea of journeying together, we can't take away from others journeys, our journey would have to be shared equally, we'd have to be open, be honest, and be willing to be in true community with others and not just with those we "agree" with, but that's a story for another day.