Originally posted on Mostly Bright Ideas:
Most of us spent our childhoods bouncing back and forth between our own wants and the demands of various authority figures. In many ways, it seemed like some kind of game that we woke up in the middle of, and that required us to figure out the rules as we went along. Gradually, through a lot of trial and error, we learned how to win the game, at least once in a while.
Then, around age eighteen, we began to intoxicate ourselves with the idea that we were in control of our lives. We had a plan in our head and we decided things, believing if we made the right choices, they would take us closer to our goals. So off we went, rolling the dice and moving around the board. And that seemed to work well, at least from one move to the next. But what we didn’t notice was that every time we made a move, or just stood still long enough, the entire board changed. We had limited vision, so we couldn’t see the whole board, and made new decisions based on the small part we could see. Meanwhile, everyone else was doing the same.
But I now realize that it wasn’t a game at all. It was something much more complex and elusive — a series of fields that overlapped and affected each other in ways that only occasionally became visible. The weather may be an appropriate comparison, although I know very little about the weather, other than that there are cold fronts and warm fronts, and that a heavy downpour is a delicious thing, unless you happen to be operating a table saw out on the sidewalk.