I’ve found myself doing a fair amount of writing in these lockdown days. I’ve always been a ‘word person’. In the maths class at school, I sat myself at the back and perfected the art of being asleep without seeming to be. I like the discipline of writing something in 500 words, give or take. It focuses the mind and combats the scourge of verbal diarrhoea.
Being good at writing pleases me, but also reminds me there are lots of things I’m not good at, and lots of things other people are better at than me. I have friends who are born dancers – you know that, the instant you see the gracefully effortless way they glide on the dance floor – it can be spellbinding. There are some with the gift of music. The magic flows from inside them, and out through their arms, hands and fingers, into my ears, and all the way down to my insistently time-keeping feet.
There are those who can creatively cook and bake, whose chef d’oeuvres trumpet the thought, preparation and imagination that’s gone into them, and which make watching mouths mightily water at the mere thought of tucking in. There are others who can take a collection of flowers, leaves and assorted foliage, and set off a careful, skilful and artful ‘controlled explosion’ of colour that captures not only the eye, but the heart, and lifts the spirit as well.
A hero of mine is the comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell, one of whose frequent sayings was, “Follow your bliss”. Find out what you’re good at, what floats your boat, what pleases your mind and gladdens your heart – and then do it, live it, and enjoy it. Feel good about yourself and about everyone else who’s doing the same.
We’re not in a competition. It’s not about comparing ourselves with others and needing to be ‘better’ or ‘smarter’ than they are. The world is big enough for all of us and, with only a few sad exceptions, better for all of us being part of it.
‘Follow your bliss’ in 2021.
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