In an early Spider-Man written by Stan Lee, Aunt May tells a dejected and dismayed Peter Parker that one needs “gumption, the will to live, to fight.” It’s the last thing you want to hear when the storm seems to be raging out of control and you feel overwhelmed but that’s precisely when you need to be reminded.
On another note: The human condition truly sucks but it’s the only game in town.
In Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (by the way, the best one of the 3 prequels but certainly not as good as any of the movies in the original trilogy), Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) instructs Obi-Wan (or was it Anakin) as follows: “Remember: Your focus determines your reality.”
Everyone believes in something, even if it’s nothing (nihilism). You might be a sceptic and believe in accepting nothing without good evidence; you might be a scientist and believe in the supremacy of the scientific method. Just like life itself, belief is inescapable. You are constrained to make a choice. It’s your belief which determines your reality, the kind of life you will have, the person you will be.
It is very hard to gaze through the particular filter of one’s own beliefs to appreciate the beliefs of others. At times when irreconcilable differences block the way, it is good to know that all humans on Earth when they look up, and their vision is unimpaired and it’s a beautiful day, will without exception see the same blue sky and the same flock of birds traversing it.
Thankfully there are more self-help/ inspirational books than any one person can do justice to, unless you plan to focus exclusively on reading self-help books.
If you are reading such it probably means you’re a pilgrim and not a cynic.*
Remember this, Pilgrim, that Eisenhower took one book with him to war-ravaged Europe – and that was The Bible.
A pilgrim of another flavour would take the Koran. A pilgrim of yet another flavour, a zen pilgrim, could conceivably take all the scriptures she needs in the empty palm of one hand.
Also, remember this: “A kiss is just a kiss; a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply as time goes by.” : )
*Preface to ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ by Mark Gilbert.
“In our outlooks on life, I suppose we all fall into either one of two categories: we regard life as cynics, or as pilgrims.”