I had some interesting conversations today based upon my entry from yesterday. It was amazing to hear this one phrase repeated numerous times: "It's fine for you to do that, but don't go trying to convert me." This may not have been the exact words, but hopefully it gives you the gist of the thought behind the comment. Did it bother me? Not really. Actually, I thought it was pretty funny because it led perfectly into my second goal for the New Year. Goal #2 for 2008: Row Your Own Boat.
I found this online journal
a few days back and it helped me put into words all the ideas and plans that were going on in my head in preparation for 2008. It's amazing when you are finally able to say what you mean and to translate those pictures in your head into something that can be comprehended by other people!
I know it's probably shameless to use someone else's words, but he is able to explain it better than I ever could -- at least at this point on my journey. So I'll let Davey take the stand."And all the while, amidst the whirlwind, the secret to life revealed itself to me! It’s two parts really — the first of which I realized a few months ago. First, you really just have to row your own boat when it comes to river of life. And, you know, just rowing your own boat can be hard enough at times, never mind rowing the boats of everyone around you. In other words, you just need to live your life the way you want. You can’t tell other people what to do, or how to live their life. In the end, reality is an interpretation, and people are responding to the world the way they see it, the best they can."
How simple is that?
You can see this happening all the time. Other people wanting to live your life for you or at least have you live your life their way. This includes people you've known for years or people you have never met in your entire life. They all seem to have some sort of interest in your life and plenty of suggestions on how you should be living it.
The responses to the vegetarian revelation struck a very similar chord to another entry that Davey made on a later date (which, amazingly enough I found today). As he says, "I have a friend who is a vegetarian. I have heard so many people tell him that what he is doing is unhealthy, or that he isn’t really helping anything, blah, blah, blah. If someone believes that being a vegetarian is wrong, then they shouldn’t be a vegetarian. But I don’t think they need to try to make other people take the same course of action."
That was what I was trying to tell people in my last entry when I said that becoming a vegetarian was what I needed to do for the next step of my journey. I guess I just didn't realize that everyone else assumed that they'd be joining me!
Seriously, though, I will not try to convert everyone to vegetarianism, or anything else for that matter. This is the direction that the river of my life is going and I need to concentrate on rowing my own boat — I won't have the time or energy to row yours too. That doesn't mean that you can't come along for the ride, 'cause companionship is always welcomed — I'm just going to leave that decision up to you.
Now does this mean that we can't talk about things? Heck, no! Intelligent discussion is always welcome as long as all minds are open. There is a big difference between trying to change someone and trying to educate someone, and you should never use education with the intent to force someone else to change.
And there I go again, missing my bedtime. I really need to start getting better about that. Until then!