WRITER Kurt Vonnegut said we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
But he said we could be liberated. We could decide who to be and how to be. We didn’t have to conform to society’s expectations.
Imagination forms action and shapes our character, he said. So if we want to be different, we have to think differently.
We might have to change the people in our lives. To think outside the box, we have to get out of the box.
We have to realise that on a street corner, our decision to turn right or left might lead us to a person or situation that could change our lives forever.
“Lots of turns behind me and lots ahead of me,” observed George Bernard Shaw in his 50s.
“My life, I feel, often has changed on a whim.”
Shaw said the only man who really understood him was his tailor.
“He takes my measurements anew every time he sees me,” Shaw said.
“The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”
Change seems to be the only consistent thing in our lives.
As the Buddha said, “all that is subject to arising is also subject to cessation”.
Or it should be. A friend said he’d heard a preacher boast he’d not changed his mind about anything theological for 40 years. He obviously hadn’t learned much in four decades.
Writer William James said we might exist in the universe as dogs and cats are in libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having little inkling of the meaning of it all. Until life’s experiences change and teach us.