Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cutting My Own Path

As I am listening to a talk about pioneering, I hear the theme of making my own path ringing out to me. The speaker, a German pilot, knows a lot about directionality, and he has given two speeches this weekend about the importance of what direction we take. Yesterday he told a story about a sightseeing flight of over 260 people that left New Zealand to fly over Antarctica. Because of an error in the flight computer of two degrees before the flight even took off, the pilots were twenty-eight miles off course when they reached the southern continent and, as they dropped from a cloud bank, they were unaware that they were flying directly towards a snow-covered volcano. The mountainside blended with the clouds so fully, they did not realize what had happened until it was too late and everyone on board died. The story is that following the wrong path, even in a small way, can lead to destruction very quickly. The story today, though, is about following the path of pioneers who have cut a path in the right way, and cutting our own path as pioneers who leave behind our past and go in a new way that is right for us, regardless of what those around us think.

Lately I have felt that sort of pioneering spirit. As I have written about changing some of our financial plans in the hopes of becoming more independent, I have felt like a pioneer in a world so focused on "buy now, pay later" and "0% financing available". I have also felt like a pioneer in other parts of my life as I have done things very different from the rest of my family and the friends I knew in my youth. I have certainly not done everything right as I have walked in these new ways, but I hope to continually work towards a better, more fulfilling, and more perfect path. I hope to be a man my children, friends, and neighbors can respect and be proud to know. No measure of wealth, acclaim, or power would be worth more to me, though sometimes those elements come to those who follow a more righteous path. I would welcome them, if they came in the way I hope, because I would have come by them honestly, and hopefully would be a good steward over what I have. If they do not come, though, I will not look upon my life as a failure, so long as I continue to move in the new and proper way I am referring to. I would count myself a success if I manage to follow such a path, and I would be even more proud if I gave anyone the inspiration to follow behind me. Here's hoping I manage.


Melissa said...

Wrong path indeed.

It is so hard to maintain what is right for you when it is so unlike those around you. I experience that on an almost daily basis. But I stick to my guns. It helps knowing that there are other nonconformists out there doing what is right for them regardless of the prevailing "wisdom".

Robert said...

I know exactly what you mean, in many ways and on many levels. My post Wednesday might clarify some of just why, but definitely the financial distinctions are already clear from what I've discussed on this blog. We've just got to keep on doing what we know is right for us, regardless of what others say.

le35 said...

I think that there are times, Melissa, that doing what is right for ourselves will be different than somebody else's doing what is right for themselves. I'm working on using "The Four Agreements" written by Ruiz. I haven't read the whole book, but when I do, I'm doing a book review on my blog. ONe of them is Don't Take Anything Personally. Other people are in charge of their own actions, and you're in charge of yours. Do what's right for yourself, and work not to get your feelings hurt when someone else does something. Don't take their responsibility. I'm working on that.