Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Scope of Work

Going to this architectural planning meeting school has brought me back to thinking about my "theology of good works." Whenever you start thinking about "what should I do with my life?" you immediately realize that it's not merely a question about direction; it's also a question about magnitude. You can't merely say, "I will dedicate my life to education," because the very next question is, "Ok, how much is enough? What do I realistically think I can accomplish in this lifetime? And is that going to be enough to satisfy me?"

I don't think these are trivial questions, because if you over-estimate or under-estimate your potential, you can wind up with what amounts to a wasted life. If you over-reach, you might wind up with a collosal failure on your hands, something that wastes huge amounts of time and energy and amounts to a net loss to the community you hoped to serve. If you undershoot, however, you wind up denying the world the benefit of your true potential.

I don't think there's a good answer to this conundrum. It's clear to me that some of the most effective people I have ever met have been perpetually frustrated with the limits of their accomplishments, no matter how great. The answer seems to be, "It's never enough."


Post a Comment

<< Home