A little bit back, I read a couple of posts from writers I admire, Jonathan Fields and Leo Babauta. They wrote about the sudden death of their friend, Scott Dinsmore, lost while fulfilling a lifetime dream of his hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’d never heard of Mr. Dinsmore, but in reading their grieving, deeply emotional tributes, I recognized that he was a person who impacted many, many lives in powerful ways.
Jonathan and Leo’s accounts of Scott Dinsmore’s life reminded me—because, with the daily routine, it’s so easy to forget—that our lives can have a larger impact than we realize, and that we can even direct our lives to have a larger impact. There’s a bit of the spirit of It’s a Wonderful Life in that thought, where Jimmy Stewart is amazed to find that what he considered his worthless life was filled with meaning and depth. All it took was an angel to point it out to him.
With angels in short supply, it’s easy to find disappointment in our lives, aspirations thwarted or goals deterred. I often have qualms about releasing pieces of writing that even when sweated over feel undercooked, that suggest that I’ve been working on my writing for so long, and yet, is this the best I can do? I fear my own judgements and that of others, even though for the most part, I’m doing work that I love. Still, there’s often a background voice whispering, “You’re a poser; give it up.” That’s a voice where a curt “shut up” is the best response.
Stopping the Woolgathering
It’s pointless (and an odd form of egotism) to mull over and over how you aren’t living up to your potential or your ideals, rather than stopping the woolgathering and continuing the work of exploring those potentials. From reading of Mr. Dinsmore, it seems he didn’t waste most of his time stewing over his potential, but was out living it. And by doing that, left a legacy. Sad to read of the loss of someone so vibrant, but it’s good to be reminded of the fragility of life, and to be nudged into renewing the quest for meaning, and sharing meaning.
And one more example of getting out there and doing it (even when you’re 90).
As Seth Godin says, go out and make a ruckus.