The Direction, not the Destination

by Roger E. Bissell


Where did my need to survive come from? Nature? Nature's God. The Law of Identity? Personally, I think it's all my parents' fault, since they threw me out and told me to earn a living!

What's important to me is not the destination, but the direction. Not perfection, but improvement. Not omniscience, but learning more.

To me, life is a process that is ever rich—and often tedious, but we can even stand back and "grok" that, if we wish. We can savor even the exhaustion and the boredom, if we find the right perspective on it. We can live in the moment, not like Mersault at the whim of his underlying demons, but just experiencing what it means to be alive right here and now.

There's a silly saying that really sums it up for me: "Wherever you go, there you are!" That is, you are always where you were going. Not to say we can't have goals and aspirations. I certainly do. But I try not to let what might be blur my vision to what is and can be enjoyed right now. "Smell the coffee."

Grace—to me—is realizing that it's OK to be where you are, but you don't have to be. Or, you don't have to be where you are, but it's OK that you are. Self-acceptance. Even more basic than thinking you're good or wonderful or marvelously healthy, smart, etc., is the thought that you're OK, and that what you are and do and become matters, and that you can grow toward the light. Or Light.