Monday, December 13, 2010

345 / Vocation #2

Finding one's true "vocation" is a problem for human beings (as opposed to other living things) because we are uniquely able to create our own world. Given the ability to create the world of our dreams, we face the question: What sort of world should we dream about; what sort of life should we lead?

This is just another version of the basic question of all philosophy: Who am I, and what am I doing here? As far as we know, horses, salmon, and other animals are not troubled by this kind of inquiry. Human beings certainly are.

If we are "called," if we have a "vocation," that problem is finally solved.

I am reading a book by the gentleman pictured here, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize-winning author. It's a kind of memoir of the author's youth, and is extremely engaging. I'm enjoying the book, but find myself most attracted by the title, Living To Tell The Tale.

The title is susceptible of a reading that would make the book into a "survivor's story," which is a kind of literary genre in itself.

But it's not that. It is, in fact, the recounting of the early history of a man who discovered his "vocation," which was "living to tell the tale." As the book demonstrates, Garcia found in his early years that the purpose and meaning of his life was to be a writer, and to "tell the tale."

My own experience in life is that there is, indeed, for many of us, if not for all of us, a "vocation" that calls us to a specific adventure that will be our life. Blessed are those who hear that call, and who accept it. Perhaps, in fact, by "accepting" our life, with gratitude for the adventure we are living, we understand, early or late, that we have been "called" indeed.

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