A Series of Provocations

I suspect few would describe me as a provocateur. But it occurred to me that that’s what I’m being with these posts, Vera.

Part of me wants you to know me if I’m not around when you’re old enough to know or care. But that’s just a tiny part of it. The far more important part is the desire to provoke.

Provoke what?, you might ask. It’s simple really: Thought. Curiosity. Passion. An ethical bearing.

It’s my deep desire you become a thoughtful person. And a doer with intentionality, compassion and zeal.

But to think deeply, to become you — someone apart from the herd — you must be provoked. Many forces are aligned to instill obedience, compliance and herd mentalities. Indeed, many of our schools and workplaces are unwitting instruments of such forces. Consequently, it takes effort and intentionality to be an independent thinker, one who claims his or her own agency. One who fulfills his or her unique destiny.

It occurs to me that life might be easier for the unquestioning person. I would never fault anyone for choosing that path. But perhaps it’s the path that chooses us.

It also occurs to me that it is in the doing that life is lived. Thinking alone, living in one’s head, is a recipe for loneliness and despair. It is rare the person who can be contented there.

Work is a means of fulfillment. Dignity. Empowerment. Identity. And, ultimately, it can be the source of a sense of purpose.

Yet without thought we are merely instruments of production. Tools for others to use. And to discard.

You will be bombarded with many messages. Many claims of truth. Yet I have found many to be lies.

Distinguishing lies from truth is not always easy. More often than not, lies come well disguised. But reason (deep thinking) is there to help. Be wary of allowing it to be supplanted by the loudest voice.

The voice many claim as true is that of a taker. Yet I have found that it is in giving that the soul finds delight.

Your mind is a powerful instrument. Don’t be shy about using it. But don’t think it has all the answers.

Answers come in different ways. Never ignore that which tears seek to reveal. Or the lessons of laughter.

Sometimes, when we play and I’m sitting on the floor, you run and throw your entire body into me. And laugh.

It seems you are a provocateur, too.


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