As children, we are often being asked by our elders to decide what we would like to be when we grow up. This question at that time strikes as quite odd, as we seem to consider adulthood as a million light years away. Yet, we often offer back an answer that will please the elders, just to get ourselves out of the awkward query.
The odd thing though, as we grow older, is that not only we are less often being asked this same question, but that we ourselves seem to postpone to give ourselves a clear answer. Instead, we indulge in the boxed templates of successful people that society offers as ready-made recipes. On the other hand, the close relatives revolt at us when, out of sheer honesty, we break-out the news that “none of these ‘templates’ work for us – at least not for the time being…”
It is the latter group of people “the Life-Dwellers” that get themselves into trouble from that point onwards, as they will have to amass a great amount of energy and rhetorical efficacy to escape the velocity of the “system of mediocrity” that the rest of the population more or less serve – and defend.
However, much like a warrior gets better by the number of fights he engages and survives, the life dwellers feed on adventure, change and passion, all of which are found in the achievement of higher and higher goals, that seem inadequate to quench their thirst for real excellence and achievement in their field of passion.
However rough, the life dwellers seem at times, their heart – the craddle of their soul – is tender like a young rose. It seems that external hardship can only be counterbalanced by an inner kind soul, full of compassion. It is this right and left scale of the character of the warriors, that makes them such fascinating personalities to be friends with. At the same time, they can be very difficult to be share a life with, as the word compromise is not part of their vocabulary.
Interestingly enough the close relatives of this special breed of people, cannot comprehend the life positioning of the life-dwellers, since they perceive most of their actions as irrelevant or even antagonizing to their own self-interest and well-being. They simply fail to understand the larger picture that life-dwellers have trained themselves to see. This leads to resistance as they defend their position on the grounds of compliance with the rules of the many (even though these rules do not serve themselves either!)
This friction that is inherent in the progress of any agent of change, gets more intense by the time. Yet, the life dwellers seems to disregard it almost completely, as their passion for their goals grows very robust but also their compassion for their adversaries, allows them to love and move on at the same time. Although from an external point of view, this seems an impossible trade-off, the life dwellers, simply effect it within the same framework of personal values in their life’s stance and system of rationalization.
However the rest of us choose to call them, we often hate them when our paths cross for the first time, yet we always love them when they are gone for good and only their memory remains as proof of their mark in our lives and the contribution they had in the evolution of the many. It is this intricate mix of Passion and Compassion that allows these uniquely different individuals to change so many things for themselves and for so many others, without asking for a payoff and despite being battered so often.
So next time you feel the temptation to ask your children “what they want to be when they grow up”, think of all this, and ask them instead what they would like to change next time round.