Monday, April 8, 2013
"Patience, Young Grasshopper."
The term grasshopper refers to a novice, a beginner, someone who is just learning some new skill or information. It came from the Kung Fu series that ran on TV in the 1970's and was given to the young male character by an elderly blind man. The young boy thought that the old man was at a disadvantage because of his blindness but the master proved that his awareness of the world was much higher than that of the young boy. Even though I am well educated by the culture's standards, I am a grasshopper in other ways. Most recently, I am learning that the rules by which most of my life has been lived are (surprise!) not carved in stone. Think Moses and the tablets.....it really doesn't have to be like that.
There are rules that I have used to guide me through life. Most of them (especially those dealing in kindness and necessary caution) have served me well. However, let me tell you about three rules that this grasshopper is reconsidering.
Rule # 1: Life is about work. Be productive. Work daily. An expression that my father threw out all the time was a line from the movie Bridge on the River Kwai: "Let us be happy in our work." Work for a paycheck but when not working for a paycheck, do home care/improvement and family care. Mind you, it's not about how much money you earn. Not at all. In fact, it's preferable if your work is community service in nature. It is solely about work. It is okay to take evenings off and part of a weekend day. You can have a summer vacation trip and you don't have to work on your birthday or on Thanksgiving or Christmas (except for kitchen chores which must always be done).
Okay, so now I am wondering about that. Working all the time leaves little room for reflection, fun, ease. Much of my paid employment has been satisfying, if not downright enjoyable. But, still......
Rule #2: Life is serious business. Laughter and humor are important and good, but the furrowed brow is the true meaning of life.
Hmmmmmm. Really? How does one learn to lighten up, anyway?
Rule #3: To be aging suggests that one is losing in life. To avoid losing the game, one must deny that one is aging. One must go at the pace of a younger person. One must make light of (or even deny) any physical disability. One must maintain an appearance that suggests youth and vitality. Never wear elastic waist pants away from home.
Wait! Who made THAT rule? And how does that make sense? Oh, that's right. That would be big business/advertising industry. My best friends - not.
What do yo think? Are you, in any part of your life, a grasshopper? Do the rules outlined above work for you? What are some rules you might question in your own life?