We live more and more, immersed in the hustle and bustle of each moment, without taking care of our own existence. If we do not decide to address and correct this situation, the consequences can be disastrous, with the probability of ending up being addicted to alcohol, drugs, depression or other evasive attitudes.
Previously serene and joyful relatives and friends suddenly lose good sense, and good judgment. More and more marriages are destroyed, abandoned or seriously neglected children, business recklessness, shady or doubtful businesses. Compulsive buying and spending habits appear; credit cards are saturated; debts accumulate; reputable people begin to hide from their creditors ...
Shopping becomes fun or even addiction. The news denounces the fact that some adolescents commit suicide by not being able to manage the amount of their debts, acquired through credit cards that are granted to them without having a stable job and without the authorization of their parents. There has even been a case in which the suicide teen's creditors and credit card grantors want that the boy's parents pay the debt, telling them that in this way they clear the name of their dead son.
What's going on? We are getting to the point where some people or groups take over our lives through unscrupulous advertising and marketing, to make a profit at the expense of anything. Other cases are less severe. There is a wide range of abuses covered by a misunderstood free market. Faced with situations like these, it is well known that the best solutions are in the field of prevention, rather than in the war against crime. It is necessary that we take charge of our lives ―with criterium, that we are losing― and that we teach our children to do the same, if we really want to defend ourselves from the aggressiveness of the environment.
Although the articles in this series can be read independently, there is a relationship between them; due to which the reading of each one will be better exploited if it is related to the readings of the others, which can be found activating the link that is offered below:
Life became hard or contextual index
My dear friend, Emma Godoy, illustrious Mexican thinker now gone, used to remind me that there is usually a time when we wonder what we have achieved, what we have done in our life, and we are concerned to discover that we have done very little, almost nothing. For those occasions she recommended that we look to the future imagining having ourselves in our arms, as if we were a baby, and ask ourselves: what do I want to do with myself? I call this the mature question.
It is a good question, because it accelerates the maturity of the young man and even gives new hope to the old man, because it helps him understand that there is still time to do valuable things. Following this approach, here and now, and looking towards the future, we can ask ourselves: what do I want to do with myself? Seriously, do we want to do the same thing we've been doing? Not? Do we want to do something else? Also, what have we been doing with ourselves to this day?
Maybe we don't know it well; maybe we don't know it anything well; maybe the question takes us completely by surprise. Maybe ... after planning our businesses countless times, we have never seriously planned our own lives. If so, we must say to ourselves: Friend ... that certainly is a lack of criterium!
It is certainly a lack of judgment not to take charge of our own lives and instead allow them to be "directed" by public opinion, the media, advertising or the whims of the market. That is what I call letting go between the legs of horses. From a personal point of view, almost nothing is as important as that scarce resource that is life itself; and that is why it is a lack of criterium to live it as if it were an unlimited resource that, in addition, lacked importance to the point of being able to leave it in the hands of those who wanted to manage it.
The normal thing would be to plan life in a modular way, given the uncertainty of its continuity, that is, of the possibility that we have of dying at any time. We need to think seriouly. We know well what a modular growth is, like that of a stereo system, a computer system and whatnot. It is a way of growing in which the team has unity and works even with few elements, but it can continue to grow, increasing its previous unity and functionality, if new elements are added.
The same can and should happen in our lives, when the initial moment of maturity comes, generally late adolescence, or later, when we ask ourselves the question of maturity, as Emma suggests. If we don't take a modular approach, our goals will most likely never be achieved.
Indeed, it would be of little use to plan our life to twenty years if, even without knowing it, we are going to die today, or within a year, or within five. This is why the one-day module is so important. I must live today so that, if I die tonight, I be satisfied with what I did with myself at least from my initial question of maturity: what do I want to do with myself?
It is remarkable how all the anonymous groups ―Alcoholics Anonymous, Neurotics Anonymous, etc.― trust in the daily module, one day at a time, which also has an evangelical root: "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself" (Matthew 6, 34). But you must live each module every day, starting today, so that if we continue to live, what we do today will serve as a modular basis for what we will do tomorrow, and a year from now, and so on until the end of our lives. And you have to live this way every day. This is the secret of the effectiveness of the one-day module, which is a natural module, because we have to sleep.
Another important module is that of one year - although it is not so natural to us - because we live socially for years, in the climate, the financial, the fiscal, etc. We can think that a year falls within the short term of what we have left of life. But there are other modules of great importance, such as finishing a career, getting married, starting your own business, retiring and others. And each of them, in addition to having their own unit and functionality, must always be the support of the following, until the end of life, which is the natural, terminal and true module, at least in this world: what do I want to do with myself in all my life?
It would be a great lack of criterium not to accept the end of our present life, with the consequence of not being able to plan it modularly, since the final module is supported by all the previous ones, or all of them are oriented towards the final module.
Modularity indicates only the form or the way of planning our life if we want it to have a minimum of unity and meaning, no matter when it ends, at least from our initial question of maturity. It will be necessary to plan the content with which fill those modules.
We need to make that plan, even if we decide to follow the divine project for ourselves. In this case we have to make two plans: one to discover the divine project and another to carry it out. Therefore, taking charge of our life, planning it, is something that in no case can we avoid, if we want to be mature people.
How can we decide the content to fill the modules of our life? What a sensible and appropriate question! What we need is criteria, a word that means judgment, discernment, norm to know the truth. We need the ability to discern, especially in the area of important issues.
Do we decide well when choosing the state of life, the professional career, the spouse? Yes or no? And why? We can choose singleness or marriage, the person we love or the one that suits us, the career that we like or the one that we think can give us more money.
Obviously, criteria are needed to make good decisions in such fields; so that if something goes wrong, we can have peace of mind knowing that we did well. Because doing it well depends on us, but success does not, since it also depends on many circumstances beyond our control, such as fires, earthquakes, wars, market fluctuations and many others. Here we can see the close relationship between criteria and values, such as the choice of the good, the knowledge of the truth, the appreciation of beauty, etc.
Our current society is demanding and rewarding the achievement of the results of success, and punishing otherwise; that is, it is demanding from people just what is out of their control, without properly assessing what is certainly under their control, such that their actions have been good or reasonable.
Moreover, today we have made competitiveness the norm, and we all ask or demand that they succeed, as if they were obliged to do so, when in reality it is impossible for everyone to succeed. Thus we violate a basic principle: No one is bound to the impossible. It is extremely violent, however impracticable, to claim victory from everyone. And then we have divided into winners and losers. We have made our lives difficult with insane competitiveness, which is basically war on the bowels.
This article has shown the need to plan our own lives modularly. Are we doing it like this? Isn't it true that, rather, we are getting carried away between the legs of the horses? If we stop to think about it, we will have to recognize that we ourselves or many of our acquaintances had not even considered or heard what was said here. It is true, therefore, what moved me to write this article: life has become difficult for us, too, because ... we are losing judgment!
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