The header of this blog contains one of my favorite Will Rogers quote. “Do the best you can and don’t take life too serious”. It would be years before I realized the power of putting those two things together.
We all have different skills and capabilities. We all have different talents. I think that the secret to a satisfying life is to discover just what your skills and talents are and then do the best you can to make them flourish. My personal history it this regard is kind of so-so. But I did for the most part do the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time and maybe that is all I could have asked for.
As a kid I seemed to always be looking to the future and trying to imagine where my place would be in it. But I never seemed able to latch onto that one specific thing. Looking back I seemed to be looking at the forest and not concentrating on any particular tree for potential growth. It would have been nice to have the knowledge and wisdom I now have in those early years. But, I guess that is what growing really means.
As much as can be expected I did do the best I could with all my circumstances in life. I got into a profession that I really didn’t have much passion for but I did the best I could while there. It would be more than twenty years into my thirty year work life before I found an area that I was passionate about and that was software development. My analytical mind thrived in that area.
But then along came deafness that put another obstacle in my path and it proved to be a tough one. What should have been sure fire advancements in this new area were not there because of my new affliction. My superiors just couldn’t see a deaf person leading a bigger team than I already had. The depression that my deafness caused almost took me down for a while. And then I got my second wind and started coping as best as I could. Struggling without hearing in a hearing world was certainly my biggest challenge. But I did the best I could.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in realizing Will’s quote above was the last part. It would be years before I was finally able to not take life too serious. The first part of meeting that challenge was to not take myself too serious. I was convinced that I needed to change the world and was always disappointed in my lack of being able to do much of that.
The progression from not taking myself too serious to not taking life in general too serious was a natural one it seems. The first serious stage in that process was to realize that today’s politics are just not worth the worries that they inevitably cause. Our country is just too divided right now to allow any serious advancements in the political realm. I found it very satisfying to finally realize that fact and to put the muddy politics of our times to a very remote rear burner of my life.
So, here I am approaching my 68th year on this earth and I think I finally have Will’s quote down. It’s about time…..
The picture above is of me in 1966 during my college years….