I often hear thought provoking stories on NPR and today was no different. On my drive in to work this morning I was already considering how people can look at the same things, the same events and yet honestly see completely different things according to how they view the world which is formed by life experiences prior to that moment.
Listening to the barely discernible words uttered by Tim Green, a former NFL player, connect the dots between his having ALS and the numerous time his head experienced traumatic shocks during his football career was both sad and inspiring in it’s own way. The sadness of course is that he is physically affected by this illness and will likely die prematurely. What was shocking and almost inspiring was that he indicated that even knowing what he knows now he might not change a thing.
His reasoning was that football gave him many things that he doesn’t believe he would have had or would have experienced without it. Even now, the early experiences of his life hold fast and control his expectations. He wasn’t able to see any other route to success for himself outside of football. This is despite the fact that he has had other successful careers and continues to write even now, one letter at a time.
Sure, if we put our nose down long enough there is a good chance we will be successful in whatever that might be. I have a lot to learn from that as I tend to hop from time to time. Still, there are often other opportunities to move forward that we may fail to see because of our own blindness and biases.
I am looking at both realities and yet not able to say that one is better than the other. Perhaps sticking to the same thing day in and day out even if success is fleeting or isn’t necessarily what others would consider ‘success’ is perfectly fine if a person is content and happy. Maybe a person would find bigger rewards by altering course and heading in a new direction.
Must we always seek ‘more’ though? Is there anything wrong with being happier with less? On a planet where one species seems content to control and consume everything, there is a lot to say for being content with less.
Where I would still part from that practice is when a person’s determined efforts to continue down the same paths, happy in their own life, becomes detrimental to others. When their pursuit of happiness brings suffering to others then change needs to happen.
Tim Green seems to be in a happy place. His family may have concerns but he is not adversely effecting anybody else to my knowledge. I wish I could say that about the other things happening every day.