“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”
Jean de La Fontaine
“But I live elsewhere; it is only that the attraction of the human world is so immense, in an instant it can make one forget everything. Yet the attraction of my world too is strong.”
We talk a lot about the fact you cannot run away from things and far less about avoiding.
We talk about procrastination, which is a version of avoiding, but by avoiding I mean more along the lines of ‘ignoring’. Ignoring meant by that you see the world that you want to live in and conduct yourself in and go about ignoring the rest of the world doing your own thing. That is simply a different version of ignoring the real world. Simplistically you are assuming that the world & Life, in general, is indifferent to you therefore you will go unnoticed and just be able to do what you want to do <in a less unfettered way than if you actually remained engaged in the ‘other world’>.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
I will say that avoiding some of the more undesirable aspects of Life & the world is pretty appealing. I would also suggest that avoiding some of the more undesirable aspects of Life & the world is pretty unrealistic.
There are a number of reasons but suffice it to say the overwhelming amount of information … even within the narrower walls of a business, is stunning. In the good old days even the worst of things worth avoiding <lies, conspiracies & implications> needed a little time to grow to some size that they became unavoidable. In today’s world those same things need seconds to gain some traction and minutes to grow to some size that they are unavoidable.
Today Google processes 61,000 search queries a second. That’s something like over 5 billion queries a day. This means information is everywhere … regardless whether it is good information or bad information.
Today 99% of all employees in business are online … and nearly 50% of the entire world is online <by 2020 more people are expected to have cell phones than running water>.
My point here is not about the challenges of being interconnected with so much information driven by technology but rather avoiding the world is just not a viable option <no matter how attractive it may seem>.
But please do not focus on technology. Technology is simply a means … without people technology is simply an unused ancient aqueduct. It is people which make avoiding impossible <technology just enables their ability to not be avoided more>.
My version of this is office politics. I hate office politics. Ok. Not just hate … I believe it is people wasting energy and all I want to do is to focus on getting the good shit done.
In a perfect world you can decide to avoid the real world of the office intrigue and just do what you believe is the right thing to do for the business and ‘do.’
It isn’t avoiding by ignoring it is more like avoiding by deciding to ride the parallel rail on a train track.
Unfortunately the business world, and the world in general, doesn’t work that way. No matter how much I may have wished to run on a parallel track it actually works more like an atom in which we all circle the business at some maddening speed in which you crisscross with even the shit you want to avoid.
This gets compounded in several ways … two of which would be:
- Someone will always make what you are doing political even if it is not.
Office politics always contain people who play politics to meet their own ends. That is their means to do so. I believe these people can only see the world through the eyes of palace intrigue and political maneuvering therefore they filter everything done by everyone through a filter of “what do they have to gain by doing that.” That is their first filter level. Yeah. Eventually they may get to the more important “what does the business have to gain by doing that” but they almost always judge everything being done on a ‘who is a winner and loser’ scale
- Someone will always find something nefarious in what you are doing.
I will not call this conspiracy thinking but, in general, a business culture more often than not breeds a sense that <a> everyone is out for themselves and <b> there is no such thing as a truly altruistic business motivation.
And while it would be naïve of me to suggest that avoiding those two thoughts as ‘stupid & untrue’ it is a little sad that those beliefs pretty much underlie every organization.
Please note, once again, the people aspect in everything I have noted. You may want to avoid things but you will find your destiny along the path you have chosen strewn with a shitload of people crossing your path … uninvited and many unwelcome.
I would suggest that Life is best lived by not ignoring shit and avoiding shit but rather stepping into the world an deal with it. Sometimes that may mean side stepping some of the shit you don’t want to deal with and sometimes that may mean bludgeoning your way over and through some of the shit you don’t want to deal with but if you do this you actually have some control over your own destiny. I say that because the problem with trying to maintain your Life on a parallel track, and knowing that inevitably it will be crossed by people & shit you had been purposefully avoiding, is that you will always be reacting to the bullshit rather than proactively facing it.
While you may not care about business or business politics my point is my point … you cannot avoid the world to conduct yourself in the ways & means you want to conduct yourself. You are stuck with the world, and in the world, whether you like it or not.
The other thing you are stuck with is the fact whether you stay on the road engaged with the world or take another road to try and avoid it … well … you will meet your destiny.