Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Philosophy?

Be patient.

This is going to take some time for me to work through in writing.

Lately, on two separate occasions, after communicating that I did NOT want to do something that I have committed to doing, I have been met with the statement, "Then don't do it. Don't do anything you don't want to do."

Are you still with me?

Both times, upon hearing this statement, I have responded with something to the effect of, "Well, simply not doing what I don't want to do is not always wise."

Do I WANT to clean the house, when I could be out with friends?
Do I WANT to sit with the kids while they do their homework, when I could be reading a book?
Do I WANT to help a friend, when it infringes on my schedule?
Do I WANT to answer the children, when I crave quiet?
Do I WANT to exercise, when it's easier to just blow it off?

No. No, no, no. And, no.

I am quite intrigued by the philosophy of only doing what one wants to do - as if that is the litmus test by which one should make a decision. In the most recent exchange, I was sharing about not wanting to do something that a friend has asked me to do for her. Will I do it? Absolutely.


Because my relationship with this friend far outweighs the inconvenience of the task. (My husband calls this 4AM friendship.)

Another word for this would be: sacrifice.

I love my friend. I do NOT love the request. But, I will place the love I have for my friend before my own needs, for I value her more than my brief discomfort. Quite frankly, she would be hurt if I didn't come through. I know her that well. So, while I don't necessarily WANT to do what she has asked, I will get it done for her.

The relationship is more important.

Does that make sense?

The "only do what you want" philosophy is baffling to me.

If' I lived that philosophy I would weigh 20-30 pounds heavier than I currently do. I would choose convenience over hard work. I would eat out and stuff my face with buffalo wings as often as I could stomach them. Instead, I choose the struggle of working out several times a week in order that I stay healthy and fit, and am meticulous with what food I bring into the house and feed my body. I don't always WANT to do these things.

Only, my body, and my emotional/mental state, tell me I must.

No, nobody HAS to do anything . . . only there is a huge difference between what I may WANT and what I CHOOSE.

And sometimes I must CHOOSE to do what I don't WANT to do.

Thoroughly confused yet?

I'll let you discuss now.

Any thoughts here? Scripture? Life experiences? Let 'er rip.


Amy said...

At my annual homeschool group seminar last week we spent some time talking about freedom. My favorite quote of the week is from Abraham Lincoln: "Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought". That hit me pretty hard.

Joline said...

Amy, that's good. Really, good.

amy kay said...

I love that you recognize this and probably teach your children this important lesson by dong. I think the number one problem my struggling students have, at the college level is not ever being taught this lesson. I spend to much energy just teaching them that, sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do in order to get to do the things you do want to do.