Generativity

Where there is a path it is someone else’s way. ~Joseph Campbell

We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real? ~Ray Bradbury

Like most of us I guess, I have followed a lot of worn and recommended paths, made fairly safe choices, and rested in the familiar throughout my life. In recent years, though, I have been bothered by the question concerning what my authentic path is. What is it that’s right for me, that allows me to contribute creatively to the world in a way that no one else can?

It is this exploration that is to be the excitement of my old age, I think. There’s nothing inherently wrong with worn paths, and I have learned a great deal by following them. They save us a lot of time and energy in a way. But I feel the urge now to blaze my own trail, to better understand my gifts and how to share them.

I don’t think this necessarily requires a dramatic change in what I do and how I live; it is more an internal shift in perspective. I expect only gradual changes in the ways I engage in the world, the activities I choose, the invitations I accept or decline, the work I do in retirement, and so on. (But who knows, really?)

And this is not just about creative self-expression (no–I promise–it’s not all about me!), but about generativity. As someone who did not raise children, I want to help future generations in the only way I believe I can–by living my authentic life, by sharing what is uniquely mine to give.

What is your authentic path, your unique contribution to the world? Are you bothered by the question?

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2 Responses to Generativity

  1. donna says:

    Well, the Bhuddists would tell you “there is nothing to attain”. ;^)

    I did raise kids, but I don’t know yet that they were any favor to future generations — we’ll see. ;^)

    As to an authentic path, whatever path you walk is your authentic path. Each individual’s journey is unique to them, even if it seems similar to others. But there is always something more to seek — that’s what makes it fun. ;^)

  2. [...] Generativity, February 9 Finding one’s true path is important for the world, as well as for the self. [...]

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