If an Angel/Alien asked You to Participate...Would You Then?by Posted Author on 08/27/12
By G. F. Smith
(Original Publish Date:
Participate...in what, you ask? I'll answer that for you in just a moment. Thanks for taking an interest and reading this by the way.
Remember that great scene in the movie, Live Free, or Die Hard? The one where the hacker character, played by Justin Long, asks Bruce Willis' character the following:
"Just why are you doing this?"
(Do you remember the reply?)
John McLain then answers with edgy frustration in his voice:
"Because...there's nobody else to do it right now, that's why!"
Matthew Ferrell then says:
"That's what makes you that Guy!"
If you do remember the movie, as well as the ones that preceded it in the famed series, Bruce Willis' character could do what he was setting out to do--in this case take out the threat, one bad guy at a time. Why? Because, 1) he had the capacity that was needed in the first place; 2) he had the knowledge, experience and talent that was needed to do it; and 3), he had the courage that was needed. He had all the quintessential, archetypical attributes of a hero. We love that stuff--the stuff of heroes.
Okay, so that's the movies, let's talk real life.
Think of...the anonymous firefighters who ran up the stairs of the World Trade Center to save people; or think of the brave soldiers of the world's countless wars for instance; or more recently, think of the Japanese workers and technicians who worked tirelessly (and still are, mind you) to turn the tide in their attempts to contain the nuclear disaster that happened over there as a result of their recent earthquake. (And, who are most likely going to die in the next few years from radiation poisoning from the occurrence.)
All of those people, real or fiction, have those aforementioned attributes, to one degree or another. Yet, they probably didn't (or don't) really want to be in the positions they found themselves in, even if they did have the essentials: the capacity, the experience, the courage. Neither did John McLain, if you remember. However, none of those attributes would have done any good without one more essential element--the element that presses a person to apply the others in the first place:
The Big Reason...
Now, I know you know I'm talking hero types here, and we're not all heroes. I know that--at least larger than life heroes. So let's ratchet it down a notch or two and consider us everyday people.
It's tough to develop these attributes in our lives; I'm sure you can attest to that. Yet, we've all been born with a certain capacity for things, right? We all have the accumulated knowledge that we've gained, and the diverse experiences that go along with it. And we all have a measure of courage, I think, to step out and try to improve ourselves, along with those attributes. This goes for the guy or gal busting their butts on a hot, fast-paced assembly line, the folks treading the sidewalks to make a sale, or the people up in the boardrooms who're responsible for the jobs and livelihoods of those they manage, supervise, or govern on down the line. It's all relative when you think about it.
However, without the Big Reason, it's all for nothing. Is it not?
Now, I'm not a fool to think that the intelligent minds' reading this do not already know this, or haven't pondered this at some juncture in their lives. However, a lot of people--probably a good majority--do have an extremely difficult time with these things, and on a daily basis. And I'm supposing it's because of that last essential element. Arriving at the Big Reason--that all-encompassing value, that lofty purpose, that superior principle--that's really the hard part, for all of us. You think?
For some, it's their families: their spouses or partners, their kids, their grandkids; for some it's money, fame and perhaps glory; for others, it's the Mother Earth, sustainability, or peace and good will towards humankind; and then for many, it's the future, transcendence, and God. For some, maybe it's all of these. Sadly, there's probably some out there that it's none.
Let me ask you this: If an Angel or perhaps an Alien came down and announced unequivocally, empirically that THIS is the Big Reason; THIS is the supreme value, and it's now up to each individual to choose to learn and embrace this Big Reason. Would it make a difference in us, really? Would it alter our perspectives? Change our hearts? Would we re-evaluate our motives and re-direct our efforts? Would we rise to the occasion? Or, would we tell them: "Sorry, I don't have the time...!" or, "Excuse me, but I don't really believe in any of that high and mighty stuff...!" or, "Frankly, I don't really give a damn!"
I don't know...
However, one thing I do know. If it wasn't for all those everyday, unsung heroes out there--large and small--I would not be who and what I am today (for what that's worth), and neither would you! And because of that, I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks, to all those who stressed and learned and worked and fought and...died, (because there was nobody else there at the time to do it) so we could be who we are today in this modern age of enlightenment and reason.
In summation, I think we've all been asked--by virtue of being alive--to participate in life. To understand our inherent capacities, to endure the frustration of learning and changing and improving, to find the courage to give back at least an equal portion, if not more, of what life has given us. And as best we can, with what information we have right now, find, or choose a good reason, so we can all carry on the journey, and hopefully, one day, find that it was all worth it.
What's your Big Reason?
G. F. Smith