To eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that understand, our fate provides us with exactly what we need to fulfill our destiny. Joseph Campbell said, “Love your enemies and what you hate most about your life because they are instruments of your destiny.” We are pulled forth, against our will, and thrust into the trials and ordeals that are necessary to produce and refine the character and qualities most needed to fulfill our destiny. Campbell said, “It took the Cyclops to bring out the hero in Ulysses.” Lao Tzu asked, “Fame or integrity, which is more important? Money or happiness, which is more valuable? Success or failure, which is more destructive?” It is clear that it is not at all clear whether it is better to win or loose, to be right or to be wrong, to get what we want or to be saddled with what we cannot stand. This leads Lao Tzu to ask, “Can you deal with the most vital matters by letting events take their course?” And, “Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” And, to say, “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed herself from concepts, and keeps her mind open to what is.” Instead of railing against the way things are, we might simply have faith in the way things are, trusting that we are being led by That Which Knows along a curious and winding path straight to the heart of who we are, and into the service of what needs to be done— and, in so doing, fulfill our destiny and compete the work that is ours to do.
For things to be better we all have to grow up. Growing up is the solution to all of our problems today. Every day. Growing up is sacrificing our good for the good of the whole. More than that-- Growing up is sacrificing our idea of the good for the good of the whole. Our idea of the good is the only thing standing in our way-- standing in the way-- keeping things from being better. For things to be better, we have to change our mind about what's important. Let me know when you are going to do that. I want to watch you leave what's important for what's important. It happens all of the time-- never willingly. Alcoholics give up what matters most for what matters most. But. Not of their own accord. Not because it is Tuesday morning and they feel like a change. People are always waking up and exchanging their idea of the good for the good. Not because they want to. Not because they are in the mood to do it. Not because they feel like doing it. Not because someone told them they should. But because they have no choice in the matter. It is forced on them by the weight of their circumstances. We have to get to the end of our rope before we can change our mind about what's important. The chances of all of us getting to the end of our rope at the same time are too faint to be calculated. So faint as to be nonexistent. Things need to be better, and we don't have what it takes to make them better. We need to grow up, and we don't have what it takes to grow up. Except that we do. But we can't access it until we have to. AA says, "Attraction, not promotion," because it knows until the student is ready, the teacher is wasting their time. We are not in control of the things required for things to be more like they ought to be than they are around the table, across the board. The one thing we can do, is sit quietly until we realize that and allow realization to work its magic. Knowing it and realizing it are different things.
It is amazing how bad it can get just by moving away from the center and imposing our will for the good upon the situation-- any situation-- at whatever price, no matter what. When it is "Our way at all costs, and you can go to hell!" We all go to hell. There are always hidden costs we do not take into account when we say, "At all costs!" This is why greed and folly are always connected. Greed is folly! And when it is our way no matter what, that is merely greed dressed up in the finest motives, taking the moral high ground straight to hell and taking everyone with it. Beware of those who know best and must be pleased, particularly when they look back at you from the mirror. Seek the center. Live from there. Bear the pain of integrating the extremes. Balance and harmony serve the greatest good of all concerned with everything taken into account. Every parent worthy of the title understands this and incorporates it daily in their work to make things work.