October 4

Today's quotation:

The mark of immature people is that they want to
die nobly for causes, while the mark of mature people
is that they want to live humbly for causes.

J.D. Salinger

Today's Meditation:

The stereotype of dying nobly for causes is one that we've all seen.  And there have been times in history and certain causes that probably could propel certain people to be willing and able to give their lives for those causes--after all, sometimes living in certain situations or with certain realities might have kept them from being true to who they were.

But personally I can't help thinking when I hear of people who have died for causes, "What a shame!"  With that much commitment and passion and courage, those people most certainly could have continued to work against whatever it was they died to fight, couldn't they have?  And while others may see them as courageous and noble, it's even more courageous and noble to continue to be a husband or a wife, and father or a mother, a friend or a brother or a sister, helping other people to make it through their lives, too.

After all, we most definitely are not on this planet alone.  There are others here who need us, who depend upon us, who are able to thrive in part because of the encouragement and love that we share with them.  If I die in a blaze of "glory," I no longer can help my family, I no longer can help my friends.

We mature as we realize that we are needed, and as we allow ourselves to commit ourselves to fulfilling those needs.  We know that we are mature when we no longer need to receive accolades for what we do--they're nice to get sometimes, but we don't need them.  And we're mature when we recognize causes that are important to us, and to which we're willing to dedicate ourselves without any sort of glory and honor.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of causes are important enough for us to give our lives for?

How would you define maturity?  Immaturity?

How have we come to romanticize the concept of dying "for a cause"?

For further thought:

Those who humble themselves shall be saved;
Those who bend shall be made straight;
Those who empty themselves shall be filled.

Lao-tzu

  

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