‘Daunted by the futility of keeping up with all the demand they cannot possibly meet, some will just surrender and retire gracefully into relative oblivion [but] each person must use whatever tools are available to carve out a meaningful, enjoyable life.’*
‘Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’**
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is writing about how people can get all the hope squeezed out of them, He goes on to say some people turn to religion, the kind of ancient path Jeremiah refers to – but Csikszentmihalyi says they are only temporary solutions.
We need a way that allows for things to happen. The best ways, ancient and modern, ought to bring us to spontaneity and surprise. Erich Fromm captures something of this when he describes what freedom really is:
“Freedom is not the absence of structure […] but rather a clear structure that enables people to do work within established boundaries in an autonomous and creative way.”^
We need something that allows us to live now, rather than have to wait to something in there future, reversing the trend of our lives as Ralph Waldo Emerson saw it. how:
“We are always getting to live but never living.”^^
To listen to what our lives and make even the smallest of changes today is to begin.