Man must deal with himself. It is his reality he must face each morning when he rises. He must be, he must move, he must create. – Louis L’Amour, The Lonesome Gods
We quote Louis L’Amour here from time to time. As we’ve noted, the critic who said L’Amour would have benefited from a freshman composition course was probably right. L’Amour was not our most technically brilliant writer. He was, however, completely self-educated, a man with nothing better to do than to live and learn. The fact that he spent most of his young life wandering and living while he learned the writing trade gave him and his work the insights into our human experience that few match. It’s one of the things you pay us writers for.
There is no substitute for personal examination. Every one of us must look ourselves in the mirror every morning and the reflection looking back is always us. There is no escaping it; it is always there, young or old, richer or poorer, good times or bad. Relentlessly, daily, it updates us on our life’s progress.
Man must deal with himself.
Are we doing well and have earned the right to look that image square in the eye? Or are we squandering our time here and find ourselves avoiding it’s relentless gaze?
Each of us must answer this question individually. You can’t answer it for me and I certainly can’t answer it for you. If we are making use of the talents and ambitions issued us at birth, there is no reason we shouldn’t smile at what we see in the mirror. We are living the life we were meant to live.
If we are not making good use of our time and talents, we may well be avoiding the reflection in the mirror.
He must be…
We must be doing something more than merely surviving. It must come from something deep inside us.
…he must move…
We must be moving to someplace different and better than what we are today.
…he must create…
Not all of us are artists, but we all have the canvas we are creating our lives on. We must ask ourselves what we are putting on that canvas? Is it something beautiful we want the world to see, or is it something we’d rather keep hidden?
We were all issued certain talents and ambitions at birth. The happiest lives are spent by those who maximize those talents, who do with their lives what they are meant to do.
It doesn’t matter what it is, either: painting a picture, building a chair, raising a family, running your own business. We were all cut out for different things and this world runs smoother when we are doing those things. We can’t go against our grain.