There’s an overwhelming need to ‘be’ in our society today. Guilty as charged. I’m trying to figure out how this has happened to me, and to so many of us. It’s not that I want to be famous or rich or particularly notorious for any reason, but of course there are others preoccupied with all of those. For some it’s a need to be somebody, to be known or to be seen. For me, it’s a need to feel like I matter, and that my time here on earth means something.
Being on the shy side as a kid, I’ve since come out my shell somewhat as an adult but am still definitely on the introvert side of the scale. Though in the perfect circumstances I can certainly be more extroverted, I find that I tend to go through life unnoticed. Never the life of the party, I’m the one whose presence isn’t really spotted one way or another. I read somewhere that we need to learn to embrace being ‘small’. Leave others to be grandiose and hold on to all that makes your life small, allowing you to breathe in and absorb all that is good.
I wonder if it’s because in this modern era we have so much, that we want more. Or because we’re not preoccupied with having to hunt or grow every meal, fend off foes and keep our families from becoming prey, that we have time to focus on ‘me, myself and I’ perhaps to a point of ridiculousness. So many have gone before us with essentially unrecognized lives and are remembered only as names on a long forgotten family tree.
Soul-searching is an almost constant occupation for me these days. But I like this new thought of staying ‘small’ and keeping my life ‘small’ and manageable. Focusing on what truly matters will in the end lead to the truest, most fulfilling life.
Perhaps as Shakespeare said, we are all contemplating the question whether “to be or not to be”, and it just depends on what kind of being we want to be.