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What We Will

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” — E. B. White

I grow cilantro, not so much to eat it, but to watch bees roll around in the wispy white flowers that wave ever so lightly in the breeze. Surely someone must grow cilantro for all the tasty dishes (or soapy dishes) one might imagine it worthy of, but give me the bees, please. Summer officially ends for me the moment the cilantro peters out—like life itself—entirely too soon.

The dance between the earnestness of rolling up your sleeves and fixing things versus opening up your heart and savoring all the world offers is a constant struggle. As with everything, we must skate the line between the world of order and the world of chaos, Yin and yang. Nobody said this living business would be easy, but it’s such a short ride we ought to make the most of it.

Still, there’s work to be done, and no time to waste in solving the world’s problems. As anyone out there trying to get things done knows, there’s just not enough people willing to make a go of it and do the work. Every school, every hospital, every landscaper and construction firm and restaurant is struggling to find a warm body with an eager mind to simply do the work. Who are we to ignore the call? Yet so many do.

Every day should be filled with a bit of challenge, and a bit of seduction. Every life lived well ends with a measure of satisfaction for the things we did well and a measure of consternation for that which wasn’t accomplished. That’s life, and we must learn to skate that line. In the end, we do with it what we will.

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