Our Duty to Participate

I read something funny about my generation the other day. Apparently, us 20-somethings believe we’re entitled to choose when we want to be uncomfortable. 


As I sit down to write these words each week, I've started to realize that good writing requires good living. And good living requires the decision to be uncomfortable. And being uncomfortable is the result of participation. Viktor Frankl says the only way we find meaning in life is when we choose to respond to every minute of the day.

But participating is difficult and inconvenient. Despite our knowledge that the formula works, we're still hesitant. We retreat into ourselves, we decide to be comfortable.

As I’ve started showing up to write again, it’s clear I’ve been missing a big component of inspiration: participation. I'll go through a rut every few months where I start to doubt my credibility; I'll shy away from conversations and quietly exit the circle. I've got plenty of theories, but I’ve yet to put them into practice because I’m afraid they might not be right. I don't know why we do this to ourselves - we've got more talent and intuition than we realize. Our bodies and brains are trained to adapt and perform. 

If we're to become who we want to become, we must begin acting that way and the mindset will follow. The confidence will follow. I love the scene from Into the Wild where he says, “It's not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” I think that's what we're after. And the way to feel strong - regardless of if it's true or not - is to put ourselves into situations where we're forced to act in such a way. 

Close to 250 years ago, some regular folks decided to participate in their own destiny instead of letting others create it for them. We were born with the freedom to do and act and feel however we want.

I wonder what we’ll decide do.