Yearning

Is it a part of the human condition to yearn?

Are we hard-wired to want more, bigger, better?

Those of us who do not are dismissed with a wave of the hand: “He has no ambition.” As if that is a bad thing.

This conversation came up last night when I went for a good, heart-pumping walk with Sue Palmer, after the rest of our writing group failed to show up. Sue and I were discussing our mothers and our families, and how most women feel that they yearn for something unidentifiable from their mothers that they have failed to receive. By the same token, they are fearing that they are failing their children in some unidentifiable away.

I believe that we are indeed hard-wired to seek spiritual awareness. And I have looked at too many gardens to realize that the big old cabbage never reverts back to a teenie seed. All of life, it seems, is progressive. Everything moves forward in its pre-ordained channel. That cabbage never changes its mind and becomes an eggplant. That’s a good thing.

And so we are too, moving forward in our channels–chosen or preordained, depending on your philosophy–always seeking more. At some point we put away the seeking for money and fame and stuff, and instead turn our seeking for more meaningful experiences. Today I seek for understanding of myself and my friends, and those amazingly diverse people who travel this planet with me. Instead of a new car, I want to go to Alaska. Instead of being understood, I yearn to understand.

Surely that’s why I’m a writer. I want to understand why people do the things they do. 

Are my kids yearning for something I haven’t provided? Probably. Maybe that’s a talk I’ll have with each of them some day. Then we can all understand each other a little better, and they will be free to yearn for other things.

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