Making Your Path for 2013

Snowy Woods Nadinejb Sxc Hu

I'm not big on quotes. You won't find me putting them hanging them on my mirror for inspiration, or putting them on Facebook. But every now and then I find one that helps define my thinking. And then I love it. Recently it was 'A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.'

It made me think of a woman I heard about, who wouldn't tell my friend where she got a particularly cool and useful kitchen item. My friend and I laughed: that is so not the kind of person we want to be, or be friends with. When I found that same item and bought it, I made sure I told everyone who asked exactly where I got it (and how much it cost). *

Admittedly, the quote was probably not intended to apply to consumerism, but to interpersonal relationships. We're intimidated by someone else because of their (talent/youth/looks/brains/whatever), so we don't go out of our way to (help/recommend/praise/befriend/whatever) them. And when this happens, everyone loses. Under the theory that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, there's room for both of us to shine. Or kick ass. Sure, sometimes it will backfire, and we get stabbed in the back. But more often than not, it won't, and we'll all be better off.

A few days ago, a friend sent me this: The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.

I thought it was interesting. How often do we think about 'finding' one's path as opposed to 'making' it?

We grow up with the idea that life's paths are already laid out, and we have to find the ones that are right for us. What a concept that we make them ourselves as we go. And at any moment we can change them.

Of course, the cynical side of me notes that people are differently prepared and positioned in life, and this affects the kinds of paths they can make. But that doesn't make it any less of an interesting concept for me to carry into the New Year.


* In case you're curious, the item a stainless steel holder for milk bags. Here in Canada, almost everyone buys milk in bags to reduce waste, and almost everyone has horrible plastic holders sold at the grocery store for $2. So as you can imagine, something that elevates this practice to a higher level is very welcome to people living in Canada. Oh, and you'd like to buy one? Right here, my friend.