Too Tired to Be
Shakespeare once wrote “To be or not to be; that is the question.” We are now two weeks into the new year of 2017 and many have already decided to forego any resolutions made. Others are still furtively plodding along trying to create a new being in this new year. One wonders if the Indian mystic Osho would approve. After all he advised us “Be – don’t’ try to become.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” To be one’s self, though, can be quite a trying thing. All too often it requires we go against the tide of public opinion and to swim upstream against such is exhausting. Could it be that some are not evil, just simply tired?
The ancient roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius famously stated “Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.” While life in ancient Rome was not easy, it might have been easier to be good person back then than it is now. All too often it seems that the good guys and gals finish last.
This series is all about being and the action verbs that can help us. This blog was intended at its inception to help me but it has become a departure point for some in embarking on their own journey of self-discovery and in finding their place amongst the rest of us. I have no instant answers nor the magic key to unlock the future and how we need to respond. What I do know, however, it that we must keep on our path and trying to make a better tomorrow.
Eric Fromm in his book “The Art of Being” advises us to stay true to our individual course. “If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation be “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.”
Rolla May adds his own perspective. “Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. … One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can “be”, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.”
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we realize the need to be. It is what defines our very existence. Deepak Chopra spoke of this. “The Universe contains three things that cannot be destroyed: Being, Awareness and LOVE.” Whatever we do is based upon our being and this leads us to awareness, accomplishments, and the ability to love. We can offer no greater gift than to be ourselves. Yes it is tiring and yes it may be unpopular. It is, nonetheless, our reason for living, for… being.