jump to navigation

The Extrapolation Temptation June 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Writing & Writers.
51 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Many people convince themselves that they are putting their time on the planet to good use by postulating that everyone should do as they do:

* People who read novels may feel that everyone should read novels.

* People who enjoy travel may claim that people who don’t travel are missing out on an essential element of life.

* People who have kids may feel that everyone should have kids.

* People who are married may be convinced that everyone should get married.  (Or, perhaps, that no one should.)

It’s understandable that people want to persuade themselves that they’ve made the “right” choices in life.

That’s to be expected.

But if we give in to the temptation of extrapolating from “right for us” to “right for everyone else,” we are apt to lose our footing.

Or cause others to lose theirs.

As a case in point, I don’t regret destroying dozens of journals and diaries I kept as a child, teen, and young adult.  I found the experience of shredding page after page of compulsive thinking liberating ~> letting go of the past to make room for the present.

In the almost 20 years since I relegated them to the recycling bin, I haven’t missed them once.

Shredding those pages was the right decision for me.

But I wouldn’t extrapolate from my experience to encourage others to do the same.  Because I have no idea what’s in their journals.

Maybe their journals include eloquent and elegant memories that are worth saving, whereas mine contained a litany of complaints written when I was unhappy with the state of my world.  I didn’t record wonderful moments filled with joy and delight, because I was too busy having fun at those times.

Mickey-OKOnce I realized that slogging through the pages of my past (as recorded in my now defunct journals) would be a dismal exercise in futility, removed from the uplifting journey that represents the totality of my life, I let them go and breathed a great sigh of relief!

Aah . . . that’s better!

When you know WHO you are, you know HOW to live.

Related posts:  Philip Hensher (Carol Balawyder) * I Destroyed My Best Friend (Life Penned) * 3 Things I Learned This Week * Room To Express Oneself (BB’s Blog) * Where The Flow Leads (SuziCate)