Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Is a Puzzlement: What to Do?

Originally posted on October 10, 2010

Sometimes I want to get out and do various things—support local or national candidates or causes, work for the team, give more money to this or that charity, get all worked up about various political issues, religious issues, social issues—so many things. And then there’s my profession, and the insatiable needs to do more to promote it lest it fail and collapse, which parts of it may do. And various clubs, ditto. Hey everyone, come on and join (fill in the blanks)! (or as the Buffalo Springfield song around 1966 goes, “Come on, people, smile on your brother, everybody get together and love one another right now!

And then I have two thoughts: One is a less worthy complex, a shadow passive dependency complex (forgive the jargon) that says, “Oh, mommy will take care of it, or someone else, I don’t have to.” To which the more mature part of it says, “Au contraire, mon cher frere, if you don’t get on the bandwagon it might not happen. Guilt guilt.”

And another part of me pipes up: “Whoa there: You only have 24 hours in the day and 9 days in the week (what? Only seven you say? Oh, my…). Anyway, one must focus, choose one’s tasks in life, prioritize. This is maturity speaking. Time is limited. Focus. You can’t do everything. You should not spread yourself too thin.

And then I say, “Huh. Well, now I’m confused. What to do or not do? And how much guilt shall I accept as a burden?” And the conversation goes on but is not settled.  Of course I’m the only one with such an inner conflict—not. So this is just to say, as the King of Siam (played by Yul Brinner in the 1950s Broadway musical, The King and I) sang, “There are times I almost think I am not sure of what I absolutely know.”

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