I found a blog post this week that was entitled "What is the One Thing in Your Life?". The author was making reference to the movie "City Slickers" where Jack Palance tells Billy Crystal that the secret to life is One Thing, and he (Billy Crystal's character) has to figure it out for himself. Like the author of the post, I remember being struck by the profoundness of that statement, and to this day, City Slickers remains one of my all time favorite movies.
After reading Mary Jaksch's post, I again returned to that question. What is the one thing in my life that makes me me? Like her, there are several areas about which I am passionate. I am passionate about my amazingly wonderful husband. I am passionate about how much I love my kids yet want them to grow up and leave home. I am passionate about teaching others what I know about health and wellness. I am passionate about wanting to feel in control of my health and wellness. Maybe passion is my one thing? Or maybe not.
I am finding that my passions change as I grow older. When I was 18 years old, I was passionate about getting off the farm and having a real life. As I got a bit older and snagged one of my passions (the one that hasn't changed to whom I am very happily married), I wanted my kids to have neighbors they could easily visit. I wanted cable TV. I wanted newer vehicles. I wanted a big, nice house. I wanted to be free from mice and rattlesnakes, passionately.I wanted a job that paid decent and provided a long vacation. So I became a teacher.
Time rolled on, and I quickly discovered that I was NOT passionate about teaching...at least not teaching children. I became passionate about computers, which is really ironic since only a few years earlier I professed my total disdain for the horrid beasts. Now I find that my passion for computers, or at least my desire to work with them and with people as they relate to computers, is gone. Not just sort of gone, but majorly gone. Outa here. See ya. Adios! I did learn from the experience that I need to be needed. I enjoy being appreciated. I get a kick out of helping people who truly desire my help and who strive to improve themselves as a result of my assistance. That's pretty amazing stuff. Probably better than any drug I could get off of one of the town dealers. I have also discovered that I am passionate about getting back to the farm...sort of. Maybe back to the land is more accurate. I want to be self-sustaining as much as possible. I want smaller, not bigger. I think I could really enjoy a little cabin in the woods or an RV on the ocean's edge at this stage of my life.
If my passions can change so easily, then PASSION must not be my One Thing. It can't be. The One Thing is a constant, right?
I'm sure there are plenty of well meaning Christians out there who would suggest that if Jesus were my one thing, I would have total peace and love life no matter what comes my way. Well....I hate to disappoint, but Jesus is NOT my one thing. I mean I like him and all that, but he simply is not what rocks my world. He is not the butter on my hot biscuit. He is definitely the jelly, but not the butter. Jelly is good. Jelly is good alot. Yet I can eat biscuits without jelly, but I just can't quite get them down without butter. Yep, Jesus is my jelly, but not my butter.
Then it hit me. There is one thing that keeps me going. There is one thing that I scratch and claw to recover when it seems lost. There is one thing that if you take it from me will instantly turn me against you for life. It is the one thing that I most resent losing.
For me, the One Thing is FREEDOM.
I need freedom. I want to be free to choose my life's destiny. I need to be free to choose what is best for my family and myself. I passionately desire freedom from government regulation. I desperately want freedom from the energy grid. I ache for freedom from status quo. I must feel the wind in my hair while being free from time. I long to experience the smell of an Hawaiian hibiscus flower without ever once thinking about how much the motel room is costing me. I want to walk hand in hand with my husband through the Alaskan wilderness as we gaze at some of the most pristene and awesome beauty on our planet without a moment's thought about restrictions. I want to be free from stuff. I want to be free from banks and creditors and regulators. I want to freely choose how to educate my kids. I want to choose who I help and when. I want to live and work on a piece of land without fear of the government taking it away because I didn't contribute to their ludicrously stupid corporate welfare programs. I want essentially what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry wanted.
The irony of freedom is it comes at high costs. The pendulum swings to the extreme because humans seem unable or unwilling to strike a balance. We desired absolute freedom from disease and death, and so we have become slaves to the pharmaceutical companies. We desired freedom from crime, and now we risk losing our right to own a gun with which to defend and protect ourselves. We chose freedom from terrorism, and now we are slaves of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security. We wanted freedom from labor intensive small farms, and now we are slaves to a paycheck. We wanted freedom from processing and storing our own food, and now we are slaves to processed foods and the Food Industry giants. We wanted freedom from darkness, and now we suffer from sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue syndrome while our kids develop autism from mercury poisoning at an alarming rate. It's quite an ironic twist.
Nevertheless, my One Thing remains Freedom. People died for it. People have died to keep it. Unfortunately people will probably have to die to get it back.
For now, I will point my life in a direction that will provide as much traditional freedom as I can achieve. I am coming home....to the land...to my heritage...to Mother Nature...to self-sufficiency...to health and wellness.
How about you? What is your One Thing?
Stills from the shoot. :)
6 years ago