Friday, May 9, 2008

On Life's Haiku

I posted Life's Haiku yesterday.

What does the poem mean to me? For me, it is the essence of my world view. I call myself an optimistic realist. I believe that good things are possible and that we should strive for them. I have the ability to be happy even though things could be better than they are. I am not sure that one can make the choice to be like me--some say they are not able to be happy.

I also know that bad things happen. I know that I have an excellent life, compared to most of what humanity has gone through. I was not in Europe during the Black Plague, seeing my family suffer and die, one by one, knowing that their suffering may soon be mine. I have not gone through Chairman Mao's "Great Leap Forward," as one of my previous graduate assistants did, on the verge of starvation, losing most of his family to famine. And, as a Christian, I know that I cannot be called upon to endure what Christ endured because my body would expire before I had endured those pains.

I know that this life is part of a larger life that always was and will always be. But, for now, I choose the best things for long-term happiness and concentrate on the good.

The tragedy is the person who knows what he wants, but cannot commit to one thing because he might miss another thing. I initially wrote the haiku about a friend who wanted a family, but could not commit. My view was that he was seeking perfection and could not get on with living an imperfect, but joyous, life.

It is almost surely the case that every theme has already been explored, and this one has, too--carpe diem.

No comments: