The Thought for the Day/Len Deighton

If you were born in an orange box, would that make you an orange?
Len Deighton
Spy Hook

Len Deighton, now 89, is a British writer, primarily known for his spy novels, though he is also, among other things, an accomplished military historian. The son of a chauffeur and a cook, the Deighton’s lived next to a spy named Anna Wolkoff, and when he was 11, Deighton witnessed her arrest. Later, he would serve his country honorably as a photographer in His Majesty’s Royal Air Force. As he should be, he is mentioned in the same breath as Britain’s two other great spy writers, Ian Fleming and John le Carre.

You can’t go against your grain. This one of life’s great lessons and one it takes time to learn. Some spend time answering the call of outside influences, putting being entertained or acquiring material possession ahead of being on their path. Their lives end up being the sum of these experiences. Circumstantially, they found what they were looking for: a big house, an attractive spouse, a collection of concert tickets. Intrinsically, however, they are left empty inside because they ignored what their hearts were telling them to do and the path their instincts were providing to get there.

This leads to squandered lives. We all have certain lives we were meant to lead, certain paths we were meant to follow and our families, towns and societies function better when we follow these paths.

When we surrender to our paths the lives we were meant to lead presents itself because surrendering to our path turns on the autopilot inside us. It lets us know both when we are on our path and when we are deviating from it. When we are on our path we feel at peace with ourselves. We are not fighting the life we are leading. When we are off our path, our insides let us know, too. We are out of sorts and, perhaps, antsy. In the extreme, there might even be physical ramification.

If you were born in an orange box…

If you are born an orange, be an orange. You will not be doing anybody – yourself or others – any good by pretending to be an apple.

Quotes are from Gaylon’s personal quote book, begun in 1988 in a hotel room in Berkeley, California.

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