In 1925 the great poet T.S. Eliot ended his famous poem ‘The Hollow Men’ with this line. It was his prediction of how the world would end, but it could be applied to anything with regards endings. A career, a marriage, an affair, a holiday, a project. Instead of a great big wow ending, most things, it seems, simply fade away with a whimper.
Many astronomers today believe that the universe will not end in a second big bang but with a continual divergence of matter, never to re-implode. And while you may be wondering what I am on about this week, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on coping with the trivia of life.
There are times when all we do or say just seems so trivial that little or nothing has any importance. We compare our lives and actions with the meaning of bigger things; like trying to alleviate the suffering from a natural disaster, or indeed answer questions on the sense of the universe and apparent infinity. Seen from a distance, all mankind and life itself can seem trivial but close up everything begins to have meaning again.
The simple pleasure experienced by another when someone caries out a daily courtesy, like opening a door or offering to assist in some way, can in itself have meaning. So if and when you enter the zone where you begin to feel that everything is pointless, try and study something new. It can be anything that you may have previously taken for granted. You will find that quite quickly your life will begin to feel in balance again and you will find yourself back in the driving seat once more.
T.S. Eliot was a brilliant man, but he didn’t know for certain any more than you or I. Our opinion is as good as anyone else’s. Whether you are the president of a giant organization or a bus driver or a carpenter, at the end of the day no one is completely immune to feelings of self doubt and irrelevance.
We all need a little lift or dare I say, a gentle kick up the backside once in a while to get ourselves back and focused on what it was we were doing before our emotional dip came along.
‘Natural leaders’ usually don’t require too much to re-motivate them. Whether they like it or not, it is in their nature. However, if on the other hand, the lost person is a ‘follower’ – then they will need to fall back under the influence of a leader soon. They will need more than someone to tell them a good joke to make them feel complete again. They, like all of us, need something useful to do, preferably that in their group, only they can do. This will be their meaning and motivation; adding something to society that is generally appreciated, anything no matter how apparently trivial.
Have a good week,