Exits before Entrances

How do you think we would make our decisions if we knew how things were going to come out before we started? Would everyone work on the teleological level - aiming toward an end - rather than the holy pilgrimage method - the journey itself is the thing?

More than once, I have looked back and said that if I had only known how something would end up, I'd have made a different decision. (In fact, I've done this many times. In keeping with the photo, if I saw people coming off an amusement park ride looking sick, I'd have my answer right there. But I have also spent a fair amount of time wishing I had done all kinds of more important things differently. )

But I admit that there are other times when I've been able to realize that even if things turned out badly in the end, or even if I just didn't end up where I thought I would, I am glad for all the things I learned or all the people I met or the experiences I had along the way.

At any rate, we don't have that crystal ball. We don't know how things are going to turn out and yet we have to make decisions. In many cases this is good - I remember my own mother telling me that had I been born first, I'd have been her only child (I cried for the first couple of months of my life). And there are some people who possess a spirit of adventure so that they simply are not very concerned with the outcome. Of course, there is stupidity, too, and rashness. Like most things, there is a continuum here.

Those who are pilgrims and adventurers and risk-takers possess curiosity, wonder and awe in large quantities. They operate out of those places rather than in the critical analysis zone.

Some of us cover this propensity up. It can make us look flighty or not sufficiently analytical or the type to just go off on an adventure to those (potential employers, say) who might wonder if we are reliable or will bow to the hierarchy or uphold and execute the boss's plan, etc. It looks like a weakness instead of a strength. It looks as if we weren't looking ahead with an eye toward what could go wrong.

I think all of us have an inner adventurer, though, and I think the world would greatly benefit from all of us nurturing that part of ourselves and at least occasionally let that light shine. To imagine what can go right, to relish the experience of stepping out and taking a chance on being filled with wonder and joy.