Usually, when we say, “Let’s frame the conversation…” it’s about providing context for what we talk about. So how do we frame a life, frame our life? What’s the human context?
In Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, Macbeth has the epiphany:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
That life ultimately has no meaning might be a legitimate or valid context. Yet, I see that as the partial context of life, not whole and complete.
Perhaps by design, life inherently has no meaning. We can be right and make others wrong. Dominate others or avoid being dominated. We continually compensate for a perceived failure to be or incomplete childhood experience that defines us. We can all cop to at least a couple of these distinctions. At least.
Werner Erhard has said he believes that we choose who we are going to be in any given moment. I agree. Really, the only meaning in life is the meaning we give it. We frame our lives. We context life. We can create a meaningful life. We access our freedom to be ourselves in doing so.
How does one create a meaningful life? Train. Practice. Be inspired. Be open to life. Create our Art.
Personally, Aikido and Sensei Dan were my muses, my inspiration. Like O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, Sensei saw Aikido as a way to create love and peace in the world. That may occur paradoxically through teaching martial arts.
Yet, Aikido is the journey of overcoming oneself. O-Sensei said, “True victory is victory over oneself.” Sensei didn’t just teach us the Aikido technique. He instilled discipline, honor and the willingness to endure inventing our greater than versions of ourselves. Most of all, Sensei taught me what it is to be a good man, one that I’m proud of. In that way, I was Sensei’s Art. For that, I’m forever grateful.
I discovered my voice through writing. I self-published my book with the encouragement of my dear friend Ken, who’s been a friend for over 40 years. I write posts on The Good Men Project. I write about what I get from the movies that I love. I write about what I get from just living and looking at life.
I’ll risk revealing my own humanity when it’s about something meaningful to me in the hopes that it’s meaningful to others. Life is about evolution, about reinvention. I’m continually learning to love and forgive myself. In doing so, maybe I can make a difference for others.
In the larger human context, we all want to make a difference in life, a life I believe is our true human design. We create our individual infinities during our lifetimes. Granted some infinities are bigger than others. Yet, infinity is still infinite. That’s the contextual beauty of life.
In the human context, time is undefeated. So I do what I love, be it Aikido, writing, or working with bright young people who are up to becoming their greater-than version of themselves. I do what I love and will grind it out through my graceful decline. Eventually, we all shall make our graceful exits.
The human context is about legacy. Paradoxically, I’ll never know my legacy, by definition. My legacy shall be defined by those I possibly made a difference for, the ones who have graced their lives, their art on my journey. I believe my legacy shall be in good hands.
Perhaps, the ‘real’ human context is leaving our Planet Earth a little greater than when I came into it. At least that’s my hope. So meanwhile, I’ll train. I’ll keep present. as best I can. I’ll do what I love. I’ll love all those dear to me. Amen. Amen.
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