If we do not rise to the challenge of our unique
capacity to shape our lives, to seek the kind of growth that we find
individually fulfilling, then we can have no security; we will live in
a world of sham, in which our selves are determined by the will of
others, in which we will be constantly buffeted and increasingly
isolated by the changes round us.
we unique individuals who are living our own, unique
lives, or are we a part of a herd, doing what the herd
does, following the will of others who are telling us what
to do, how to live, what to think, what to feel?
Does life toss us about, leaving us happy one day, sad the
next, depressed and exhausted the next, and joyous the
next? Or do we look at life and say, "Thank you
for all that you offer me, but please keep in mind that
I'm going to take you on my own terms"?
up and taking charge of our lives may sound like a
control-freak type of thing to try, and it seems to go
completely against ways of life such as Zen, but it really
is necessary if we're going to get what we can our of our
lives. The Zen concept of letting things be and
allowing the river of life to flow unmolested is actually
the height of control over our own selves, for those who
are able to accept life as it is have found enough control
over themselves and their impulses to be able to let go of
the need to try to control life.
don't have to do anything in particular in life. We
don't have to learn anything specific, and we don't have
to act in any certain way. We do owe ourselves the
effort it takes to shape our own lives, to find our own
interests and follow them, and to do our best to live
lives that are fulfilling to us, no matter what anyone
else may say about the way that we are living.
are truly unique, but the question is, do you act
it? Or do you act like everyone else, talking about
the same things rather than about your true interests,
making decisions based on what you know other people will
find good and acceptable, and finding change to be
frightening and threatening? Are you a part of a
herd, or are you truly yourself, living your unique
version of life?