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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I am reading this wondering book called Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I found this passage so insightful that I wanted to share it.
"To create a family with a spouse is one of the most fundamental ways a person can find continuity and meaning in American (or any) society. I rediscover this truth every time I go to big reunion of my mother's family in Minnesota and I see how everyone is held so reassuringly in their positions over the years. First you are a child, then you are a teenager, then you are a young married person, then you are a parent, then you are retired, then you are a grandparent - at every stage you know who you are, you now what your duty is and you know where to sit at the reunion. You with the other children, or teenagers, or young parents or retirees. Until at last you are sitting with the ninety-year-olds in the shade, watching over your progeny with satisfaction. Who are you? No problem- you're the person who created all this. The satisfaction of this knowledge is immediate, and moreover, it's universally recongnized. How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy- If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well.
But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just frittered away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me?"
It goes on but I just want to quote one other thing -" The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indain Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection."
Here is to me- to find my relevancy and living my own destiny. Here is to all those out there searching for the same. May we all find what we are searching for.

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