Pursuing Pleasure – Religion and Politics

It’s been some time, since I took the time to write anything for my little blog.

I spent my time for about a year, creating what amounted to a video blog.

I’d very much like to get back to doing that. In the meantime though, I’d like to try to take some time to write again—something I’ve missed more than a little.

For today, I want to discuss an idea that certain in my “circle,” count to be not just reasonable, but appear to deem essential.

I would argue that many mean the same thing, though they express it in different turns of phrase.

That said, I want to take away the possibility that someone might be inclined to argue they don’t mean what I’m talking about, when they use one of the potential wordings or ideas I would associate with the concept.

Simply put, there’s a tendency for folks to say (in one form or another), “I really want to do things that make me happy as much as or more than any other thing.”

Don’t take me for saying that’s not something one might largely be interested in doing.

That said, I want to point some things out—since I’m writing “on the fly,” the number may be hard to pin down at this point.

The first thing I want to make clear, is that, as we grow older, we’re inclined to be expected to take on a number of roles that “knock the selfishness out of us.”

One excellent example is the position of parent.

Many years ago now (more than thirty, to be clear), I learned an invaluable lesson.

As children, many of us tend to live a carefree life.

It’s not that our every moment is without concern. Rather, it’s that much of our time is not spoken for.

People point out that as little ones, they felt like time dragged on unceasingly.

This is almost the embodiment of the idea I’m trying to express.

As an adult, and most particularly as a father, I often find the moments escape so quickly, as to make me wonder at their speedy passing.

You can argue that’s not because I’m “giving them” to others. For my part, I’m inclined to disagree.

When I’ve little going on, and most certainly, when my time isn’t being given to others, it often seems to pass a great deal more slowly.

I grant that when I have a heavy schedule, the rest times (when I’m not working on the behalf of others), seems often to fly by as well.

That said, more often than not, if time seems to be passing at breakneck speed, I’m in pursuit of things outside my personal domain.

Caregivers take the good with the bad, one might argue.

My son was ill not too long ago, and not in a small way. He literally spent a couple of weeks in the local children’s hospital.

Before we finally took him there, he could only walk by shuffling his feet, and with great effort and pain.

I had hoped he would recover without being admitted to such a place.

Sadly, this was not to be.

Part of my “job” as the one providing for him, was to make sure he was able to accomplish the things that needed to occur.

More than once in that period (not at all assessing blame here), he went to the bathroom on himself.

You can be assured he no more desired that happening, than did I.

Part of the point of this little tale, is to let you know that my responsibility to him, was more significant than my personal happiness.

I would go so far as to say, no part of that series of events, was something that made either he nor I happy.

The point is, my concern in that moment was (very obviously) his well being.

Would I have liked to spend the minutes in question seeking my personal happiness? You can be sure that’s the case.

Looking back though, I’m more than glad I took the course I did instead.

Recently, I had a person more or less imply that all suffering is bad. Suffering in order to improve the lot of others can be said to be an example that shows itself contrary.

Funny thing? It’s not necessarily only to the benefit of the person for whom the suffering occurs.

Rather, you can argue that bringing my child into better health, was equally to my good.

Here’s the thing.

I’d love to agree heartily with the idea that one ought to live a life in which one’s time is spent in happy, fulfilling pursuits.

Allow me to say I cannot.

Sometimes we deal with rain, or worse.

Assuming life is badly lived weathering various ill tempered events is—you may be sure—a questionable premise at best.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have good, easy times of rest.

On the other hand, seeking to hide from, or otherwise eschew difficult moments is not a great thing.

To be clear, that also means how we see things in hindsight, may be more than a little surprising.

As much as I’ve like the “smooth sailing” times in life, some of the most important and fulfilling, have been those in which I was in a “rough patch.”

Given that my son could have gone his entire existence, without finding his way into a hospital bed, it would seem desirable that he do so (for his sake as well as my own).

Since that’s not how things played out, I can tell you it was a supremely important moment in my life, to look after him to the best of my ability when he did find himself in that place.

Is it wrong to seek to live in comfort and ease, or even to not do so in the process of accomplishing things one covets?

I wouldn’t say as much.

Then again, looking back, I often feel as good or better, about times not spent “in that boat.”

I hope you can say the same.

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