“Our society has resigned itself to suffering.”
Jamie Studts, Behavioral Scientist
[Describing the fatalistic acceptance of a cancer diagnosis as a death sentence]
I’ve had a growing suspicion that, as with a cancer diagnosis, much of our outlook on life and living and career and citizenship – and all the rest – is colored unduly by our “resignations”.
Sometimes we can get hopelessly and helplessly mired in “things just being as they are”.
Our church participates in a city-wide “Room In The Inn” program that houses and feeds the homeless on weekends. I was asked to spend Christmas Eve night with a group of men sheltered by this program. “Resignation” to the condition of their circumstances is a pervading theme for many of these men … though not for all. While some view it as permanent, some view it as only temporary and continue to fight their way up and out.
In the larger scheme of things, resignation can be a valuable protective mechanism or one that allows us to move on to more productive things. For example, I’ve “resigned myself” to the fact that I’ll never compete in the Olympics … never own a muscle car or a motorcycle … travel in space … be 20 again … win an international BHS quartet competition, etc.
[But there’s a whole lot else that is fair game!]
There’s something comforting about “things being as they are”. We know the territory. And the expectations are much more manageable when there emerges a certain “pattern” in life.
Sometimes we don’t feel “worthy” of anything “above our station” … we don’t feel like we “fit in” … don’t “belong” anywhere else.
Finally, there’s the inbred cultural/tribal associations and admonitions, tying us to a particular “bent” in life, lest we should deign to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, or attempt to reach too far beyond our groundings … or beyond others’ grasp or expectations of us.
In the worst case, resignation is merely an excuse: “It’s just the way I am, WHO I am, and how I do what I do!”
At this beginning of the New Year, 2017, we might take stock of our “New Year’s Resignations”.
Resignations you might consider dropping, in addition to any or all of the above, are those that unduly limit your possibilities.
Don’t just “resolve” to exercise (as so many of us will!), become adamantly “RESIGNED” to the fact that exercise is an indelible part of the COST OF LIVING.
Your 2017 “resignation list” might include becoming resigned to CHANGE (it’s another integral part of life and the “cost of living”) … to SELF-AWARENESS (giving up prejudices, errant assumptions, unrealistic expectations, and unwarranted entitlements) … to LEGITIMACY (“Fake News” be damned!) … to PERSONAL GROWTH (if you’re not yet dead, you’re not yet “finished”!) … to the pursuit of SELF-MASTERY and SIGNIFICANCE (trivialities be damned!) …
Such resignations can be transformative, but may, themselves, require a “transformation in thinking” and the engagement of “transformational” Executive Function.
At some point, we have to become “resigned” to the fact that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Super Heroes, and deus ex machina rescues don’t exist, that one doesn’t indefinitely get trophies just for showing up, that getting another year older doesn’t qualify one for promotion, that our chances of winning the lottery are one in 175 million, and that “our ship” is not going to come in – we have to swim out to it … through water that is frequently shark infested.
The good news is that giving up things that don’t count or don’t even exist or can’t possibly be attained is giving up NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE … except BAGGAGE that otherwise only weighs us down, misdirects our attention and holds us back. It’s the ultimate SELF-LIBERATION!
The better news is that we only HAVE to do what we CAN do … and be both patiently dogged and impatiently persistent in that pursuit.
But the BEST news is that we don’t have to do it all by ourselves. The “Bandwagon Effect” of dogged persistence harnesses multiple forces of the universe – and establishes and sustains momentum – that can help pave the way toward wherever it is we’re going.
Let’s get REAL … RESIGN OURSELVES to doggedly pursuing our TRUEST DESTINY … hike up our shorts, and get the New Year rolling … and may the FORCE be with you!! Quartermaster