Life in 100 Pages

Recently I’ve been having a lot of conversations about life choices. I just finished up college and I’m considering passing up secure opportunities in America to head abroad to see and experience the world a bit more. Through all those conversations I’ve realized that a lot of people prefer security and comfort over anything else. I’ve spoken with dozens of friends and a small handful have seen through their experiences the wealth of following the unbeaten path. In one of those conversations with my friend Clayton Elliott, who runs http://widism.com/ the following came up…

What do you think happens when a Shepard walks away from his flock?

Nothing.

Sheep, like people, are creatures easily swayed by community and peer pressure. If a sheep starts to move away to far or stray in a path not normal for the group the flock yells that way “Bahh!! What are you doing!! You’re BAAD..You’re BAAAAAHHHHD!” and the sheep of course falls back into place. The sheep doesn’t go where it dreams of going, doesn’t venture beyond the realms which his herd knows because that’s what they know and to go beyond that realm would make his herd uncomfortable. In return, they’d call his actions to question yelling and shouting about how crazy he is.

People are the same ya’ll.

Go to school, graduate, go to college, graduate, get a job, work, work, work, get married, have babies, raise those babies and teach them to do exactly what you’ve done- in the same order–anything else is bad. This writer calls them drones. Drones are a majority of community, a majority of society. Drones will keep you in check and pressure you to stay in the lanes. If you sway outside, watch out, they comin’ for you!. Drones-like bee’s- have stingers ready waiting for you to make a wrong move that makes them uncomfortable.

Who wants to be a drone? Another analogy..Picture this.

Your life is a book, a 100 page book and each page represents  1 year:100 pages 100 years. Sheep, drones… their book is just a copy of every page. Every page is the same as the last-every year is just as boring is as the one that came before it. By the time you know it their book is over. The saga is done– all they have is a book in which every page looks like a xerox of the last.

Dreamers on the other hand- people that aren’t ready to accept the fate which society tells them they must, folks that aren’t quite okay with the square which their surroundings tell them they belong..they break out. These people are the people that you’ll walk past as they appreciate the ocean, the ones that stop to recognize natures beauty, the ones that stop in a park as they walk by an aged couple to admire love. Dreamers don’t settle.

In the book of a dreamer every page is an adventure. Every page is another crazy series of events. At the top of the first page they have you thinking Oh great another book and by the end of that page you can’t wait to turn the page because you quickly realize the unpredictability of their book. By the middle of the book your hearts been ripped out, your mind hurts, you’ve teared up as if you’ve lost your own mother. By the time you turn the last page you’re broken because there is no more… Your faith in humanity, both been broken and replaced page and page again- every reader ends the book seeing the potential of human life and wanting to trailblaze a new journey. A journey in which legacy, passionate, heartbreak, love, and hope all meet.

Naysayers are in no short supply. People will always tell us where they think we should walk, how they think we should talk, and point out whats right in their mind. It’s comfortable for them. Maybe next time they say something ask them which book they would rather read… Maybe that’s the life they should be leading too. 

Of 100 pages I don’t know what you have left, but know that the next one is yours to write, today.

@marvin_mathew

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One thought on “Life in 100 Pages

  1. Marvin,

    Great words here! I enjoyed the analogy to the sheep. I too am a recent college grad, (Spring 2012) and I was also debating between the secure, comfortable, and common opportunities in the States. I also have a deep passion to travel and seek an opportunities to explore more of our world. I am thankful for the short abroad trips I was able to make in high school and college. These less than 2 week excursions merely whetted my appetite for long-term travel and adventure. I grew up or went to school in 6 US States, studied political science and IR, and played major college football. Less than a month ago I moved to Kuwait City. I have learned and grown so much after living many years in the American south and moving to a Muslim country in the Middle East. I feel safer here walking around at 3am than in some parts of DC or Chicago. Security and comfort is relative because that exist worldwide depending on your ability to change and adapt. My encouragement may mean nothing to you but I am cheering you on to go for it, chase the dream, and go see as much of the world as you can!

    “If you’re 22, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” –Anthony Bourdain

    One of my favorite quotes & relevant regardless of age. Hope to meet you Jo’Burg for the OYW Conference!

    Cheers!
    James Williams
    @onajourney77

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