Saturday, May 1, 2010

Costs of the Committed Life

WE DON’T CHOOSE THE COMMITTED LIFE. It chooses us.

We’re not simply defenceless against its choosing us, however; we’re passionately in amid of it and it just can’t simply be any other way, much to the bemusement and even frustration of others at times. And yet, this life “becomes” us.

This, of course, could describe your life of godly conviction, amongst other things.

The Costs to Bear

There are always costs to bear, both personally and relationally, and things we miss out on, when we go this way in life. Such a focused approach is always going to bring with it costs (with the many possible benefits) that we will just simply have to live with. And with these costs comes the resigned attitude, ‘So be it.’

And the costs to bear, though they are far from insignificant, are generally outweighed by the tremendous moral upsides. In other words, it brings interminable benefits and blessings to the committed person and others connected with them.

Only a life committed to good ends is a wisely committed life. It’s no good, for instance, being committed to drug trafficking. It’s no good for you, those close to you or anyone else for that matter—from strictly the moral viewpoint.

The Propagated Moral Upsides

Although we’re defenceless to this passion of our hearts, and seem destined for this life that has chosen us, we should know that this life is the best for us through its moral upsides. We should be able to define them.

The committed life is always best heavily weighed in the direction of moral upsides—our committed efforts are good for us and others. Our acts bring blessing. Not that we might abuse these upsides—generating life imbalance, for instance—but we should utilise them to a value close as we can to their potential.

And everyone can and should live the committed life that chooses them. This is an exercise in self awareness and self management—fundamental non-social bases of emotional intelligence.

Conventional and Eccentric

The committed life is perhaps mostly characterised in the unusual and even bizarre approaches to life. People notice our commitment; they notice the costs we bear and the choices and decisions we make. We attract admiration because we’re conventionally diligent.

Occasionally the person living the committed life becomes very well known for their life and their achievements—they’re set apart from the rest of the crowd. They have ways about them usually that appear quite odd to almost everyone else. There’s something alluring and charismatic, even eccentric, about this. We should not, therefore, fear being a little different in these ways.

Whether we’re conventional or eccentric the main thing is we are committed, finding the very calling and purpose that sweeps us gracefully through life—the life lost in love.

The people who live the committed life, though they bear significant costs along the way, are the happiest people alive, and are also those who end up happiest at the end of their lives.

It doesn’t get much better.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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