“We’re not born with unlimited choices. We can’t be anything we want to be. We come into this world with a specific, individual destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it. Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”
Although recent declines in life expectancy among non-Hispanic Whites, coined “deaths of despair,” grabbed the headlines of most major media outlets, this is neither a recent problem nor is it confined to Whites. The decline in America’s health has been described in the public health literature for decades and has long been hypothesized to be attributable to an array of worsening psychosocial problems that are not specific to Whites. To test some of the dominant hypotheses, we show how various measures of despair have been increasing in the United States since 1980 and how these trends relate to changes in health and longevity. We show that mortality increases among Whites caused by the opioid epidemic come on the heels of the crack and HIV syndemic among Blacks. Both occurred on top of already higher mortality rates among all Americans relative to people in other nations, and both occurred among declines in measures of well-being. We believe that the attention given to Whites is distracting researchers and policymakers from much more serious, longer-term structural problems that affect all Americans. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 25, 2018: e1–e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304585)
Interesting AJPH analysis which can be accessed at this link.
The article has a link to the complete analysis in PDF.
The blues is what you get when you become part of someone else’s plan in life.
Illustration source Bigthink.com
Makes sense to me.
In science, unlike politics, there is value in saying, “I don’t know,” or “We don’t really know, but it might be this,” or “Actually, what I believed last year is no longer likely correct.” Once you actually embrace this notion—that you can’t know everything, that facts have a half-life, and that humility is a blessing more than a curse when it comes to trying to understand the natural laws of our universe—you become obsessed with research.
Peter Attia MD
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
– Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
© Abbey of Gethsemani
For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Luke 12:48 NKJV
Personal mastery goes beyond competence and skills, though it is grounded in competence and skills. It goes beyond spiritual unfolding or opening, although it requires spiritual growth. It means approaching one’s life as a creative work, living life from a creative as opposed to reactive viewpoint.
Peter Singe the Fifth Discipline
Every calling is unique. My calling is unique. I am a teacher, coach, mentor, writer, and…life underwriter.
A calling has certain preconditions that involve more than just desires. For your calling to be correct it requires the individual have the talent, unique abilities and skills for that particular calling. A true calling reveals itself through enjoyment and a sense of renewed energies when engaging in the calling. Underwriting is like being home. Writing is natural. Teaching is what I do. Your unique path is not easy to discover. I have traveled many false paths before uncovering MY path.
I hope you visit the website Black Men in White Coats. The world needs more people like this. Are you being creative or simply reactive?