Plan, plan, and plan, these days one would think it is synonymous with a life’s right choice; as location, location, location is to real-estate. The location wisdom feed may be altering for business as real space shifts in some respects into cyberspace, but there is a location factor there as well.
Neil Young; Alabama
Oh oh Alabama, the devil fools with the best laid plans, Swing low Alabama. You got the spare change-you got to feel strange And now the moment is all that it meant…
Being hooked by the future, however, is a kind of Faustian bargain; for what guarantee is there to planning ahead, though it seems one must? There are always trade-offs that would appear locationally mute by context; you need health insurance in case you get sick, for not having it would be a bad thing. Yet is your health or even the insurance policy any absolute guarantee? Risk, although seemingly remote, persist.
Change of Plans
When I plant a seed, if I am waiting for what is produced in a season, I need to hang around to monitor the seeds progress, no more wandering all over the place just finding what I can to survive. I trade off a trust in wandering and its skills, for a more stable one in waiting on the future, oping my knowledge will prevail. I receive some security for some loss of a kind of freedom, but my ability as a gardener, and natures ability to frustrate plans, makes my projected outcome circle the clock. Time ticks inside an orbit of problematic possible encounters, some of which could derail plans no matter how well laid out and intentioned.
If I look back at my own life, I would have never guessed how it would turn out, nor who would turn up in it. I can see what might have happened if I had a big agenda put upon it; I would move forward with a “permanent” self definition, one which may find countervailing notions uncomfortable or denied. Other ignorance’s would rain down upon the planning and the seeds planted.
If I would have wanted to be a millionaire by thirty years of age or whatever, what attention would I have encouraged regarding the damage such a generation of wealth can do to the earth and ones own soul, what I value in Life? Yet I would guess many self images and expectations rush forward where fools should fear to tread, simply because some consensus reality has been injected into my identity. Success is this abstraction realized…for appearance reality seems to indicate rewards for the achievement. (another big abstraction)
I have had an odd life (who hasn’t?), especially around time and planning. I was averse to planning and intent upon being fully present, for what might well have been an early life threatening situation I was in at 6 months of age. I did not know while growing up, where I fit in, and why so much planning was being considered and expected. Although my parents died while I was a child, I remember at about 5 or so, and then times as school progressed, when they asked me what I wanted to be. I was actually horrified by the idea. I remembered thinking; I’m me. What is wrong with me? Why do they want me to be someone else? I like who I am. Believe it or not, I felt a deep violation in even considering it.
Throughout the years the feeling persisted. When asked what do I do, I would feel; I breathe. I am. I am not my doings. Once one gets the idea one is an outsider, or excluded, it becomes quite a bit easier to question motivations and conceptual assumptions instead of just doing what everyone else does to fit in. It was obvious, since as far back as I can remember, I was not fitting in. I must then define who I am, what I am, and why I am, and not the usual script society offers.
This sort of self definition seemingly cast one into the role of an iconoclast, a nonconformist, perhaps seemingly eccentric in ways, with a critical bent toward most mass movements, be they social, political, or variations of appearance reality in economic mindsets, where it matters what brand car, shirt, sunglasses, underwear or watch one wears. (The stuff makes what you want to be?) Most every commercial on TV is not for me. Nope; probably never buying a new car, nor a new house. Oh yeah; there is a reason “they” prevented those simplicity commercials from airing way back when..consciousness and conscientious living.
It is odd that the worlds hyper-planning, tied to population and product expansion, are nooses placed around the necks of everyone on earth, while the plan is to mostly deny the reality. (Proverb; The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.) It seems humanity is chasing a kind of contradiction, planning for the future economic health while following the philosophical paradigm of cancer—growth, damn the cost.
This post is inspired, in a manner of speaking, by all those I know who have had to deal with cancer; my mother at 42, a friend at about the same age, her sister now in her 50’s, her best female friend at 60. Her sisters cancer operation today went very well, but she had informed my friend that she was OK with dying, in case that happened.
Moment to moment, we never know what will come next. Lots of energy can be harvested from you or I in seducing out our interest to guarantee health or survivors well being, yet that outcome is still unknown, no matter the claims and the assurances that come with the selling of my life now, for a projected one in the unknown future. Risk is being used as an incentive, it will not guarantee the future, but it will certainly impact any-ones life now—now is abstracted out until a hypothetical then. Trust itself has gone onto the action block.
The rewards for this planning, often offered as money, may well have its own secret obfuscating capacity to seduce attention while producing environmental degradation, and kinds of ruin in other relationships (but what can one do?). Yet the program sells the performance as an undeniable good, a few groups and cultures excepted.
Now is about a special kind of awareness. It is a choice we each make all the time knowing it or not. Religion, politics and economics may insist the future is where it is at, But…
My loss is my gain.