One day, Frank became aware.
He became aware that he had been living unaware; that for as long as he could remember he had been existing on automatic pilot. Every day of the week was pre-planned, and so a week, a month, and, thus, a year. With startling clarity, he realized the life ahead of him; and the shadow of his future–scripted by forces not his own–was both frightening and depressing. The revelation foretold the story of a man, apparently alive, standing at the foot of his own grave, awaiting the fall.
As Frank’s level of consciousness increased, he noticed that for years untold, he had willingly subjected his “self” to the “cacophony of the multitude.” The trend had been so insidious that its increasing noise level had escaped his attention. Morning news (“weapons of mass destruction“) was parroted at mid-day and echoed, yet again, at night. Repeatedly, various media outlets offered identical sound bites. For most of his life, Frank had assumed that the intention of such programs was simply meaning to inform; but now, he realized that conform, conform, conform was their more likely message. He also began to notice that neighbours and colleagues, in somnambulistic reverie, were eager to instruct him in action that he should take…if he were wise. “They’re asleep,” Frank now thought, “as was i.”
When Frank examined what he had assumed to be his life, he discovered that the grooves of his own patterned ways were very deep, indeed. He realized (from the perspective of witness), that he always stirred the milk into his coffee with three clockwise turns–not two, followed by a tapping clink of the spoon against his favourite mug. He realized that he prefaced many sentences with the word actually, for no apparent reason. After showering, he realized that if it were not for awareness, his right arm would always reach to dry his left shoulder first. From his new vantage point, Frank intentionally severed as many patterns as possible; and as a result, he felt more alive than he had felt in years.
On that day that Frank became aware, he made a promise to himself, which he has kept. The promise is that he would always favour the Still Small Voice within, instead of the cacophony of the multitude. Much later, Frank discovered that the Voice that guides his actions is referred to in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Frank also wisely follows another action. When persons ask him for his opinion, it is to “That”–their own Still Small Voice–that he politely suggests they turn.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
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