Don't Miss Your Destiny
There are several things that I love doing other than being with my family. I love traveling, especially overseas. I love writing. I also love teaching. What is marvelous is when I can combine two or more of them together.
Case in point. This essay is about an assignment that I gave both my classes last semester. They had access to an essay that appeared on Christmas Day. They read Swallow, Swallow, Little Swallow about a month before it appeared on my website. My classes were online and their assignment was to read my essay, which was a redaction of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince. Then the classes were to write a 1000-word reaction to my Swallow, Swallow, Little Swallow by showing how it applied to the course. Then the classes had to comment upon other students' analysis of their interpretation of my essay.
What I like about this type of assignment is that it is intentionally open-ended, which allows students to think outside the box. Now, to be honest, that type of question troubles some students. They would rather have multiple choice responses. After having the class nearly all semester, I knew who would like and dislike the question. One of my very best students, Sherean, seized upon the opportunity and did an excellent job explaining the relationship between the Golden Statue and the Swallow. Then Sherean related that relationship to our society. She ended her essay with this sentence, "The Swallow slept at the feet of this statue, he thought it was a pit stop and turned out to be his destiny."
Aside from being a very good writer with the relationship between pit stop and destiny, Sherean understood a truth many people a couple generations older than she do not get. Here is a college aged student who is aware that we must all be cognizant not to dismiss opportunities, to be all we can be. The Swallow could have made a pit stop, rested that night, and flown off, indifferent to the problems that the Golden Prince saw.
Therefore, this essay is to follow-up on Sherean's comment about all of us. Granted, I have an advantage over most all of you; I've danced with death. At one level, we all know that we are not immortal. However, I have the advantage of truly knowing that reality...in my gut. Having done the dance, the process allows me to live. I have a completely different Weltanschauung, worldview, than I had prior to either of my dances. I have benefitted from both dances.
I know better than most of you something that a decade ago I did not know. I was like you. Pausch said, "The key question to keep asking is, are you spending your time on the right things?" What Sherean was saying about pit stops was do not write a so-called pit stop off; it may be your destiny. Therefore, think. We don't have an eternity to find our destiny.
Now, you understand that reality. Well, you think you do. Sherean and I are giving you a friendly warning. Think. You might wind up at the end of your life and have missed your destiny.
Visit the The Last Lecture page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.
Visit the My Hauntings page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Talking with Objects page to read more about this topic.
Visit the "The Hand May Be a Little Child's" page to read more about this topic.