by David McElroy
If you drop a leaf into a moving creek, the leaf will be carried from place to place downstream by the water. The leaf has no will of its own and no input about where it goes or what happens to it.
It’s pure chance about which leaves will be crushed or destroyed quickly and which might make it for hundreds of miles before breaking apart.
Life is the same way for most people.
They’re dropped into the stream of life and have no real thoughts of their own about where they’re going or what they’re doing. They simply act as others around them act, waiting for fate to carry them to a destiny and then to death.
It’s a very easy and peaceful way to live, but it’s meaningless and random. Becoming self-aware enough to know that you don’t have to be a passive leaf in the stream of life is a struggle, but even getting to that point makes your life far more difficult, because it’s the beginning of something much harder.
If you become aware that you don’t have to gently float to whatever fate random chance has in store for you, you’re forced to either panic from that realization or else start fighting to change your course.
The simple realization that you have choices doesn’t necessarily give you understanding of what the choices are or what your life means. You’ve just awakened enough to know how desperate your situation is and then you have to start figuring out how the entire ecosystem of the stream works at the same time you also try to teach yourself to think and to act.