Michael and I love to be together. He does not want to go anywhere without me so we usually travel everywhere together. Our common and almost religious devotion to The True, The Good and the Beautiful (for him, The Noble for me) is a powerful garden within which we cultivate and watch our souls blossom, irrigated and fed by the power of our love. And if you see us, chances are you often times will hear us engaged in a profound conversation, him with a sexy beaming reason and me with a persuasive passion. We are the Ying and the Yang, truly “seemingly contrary forces interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn”. And we also write to each other, almost all the time. The whole thing is so intense I feel we will be speaking to each other way past our time on this Earth.
I find our communication powerful because we are honest with one another, and we keep each other honest, and hold ourselves accountable to one another.
Michael is an accomplished philosopher of life who I feel no one can deter from his goal of living a life of meaning. On the other end, I am still a young disciple of Life, sometimes whining about the difficulty of the path I have chosen to live MY life, no matter what and no matter who.
But although I am very conscious and aware of the fact that only such people bring innovation and newness to the world, I do whine sometimes :(
It was after I wasted valuable time complaining about the world, people and life, in general, that Michael sent me this letter, reminding me of what I know all too well: that Sheep Souls get Cheap Rewards.
“Reality is a really, really tough cookie.
It is much easier, either in France, Senegal, or the U.S., to be a Mandarin: Go to a good university, and then get a good job in the elite hierarchy because of your degree and the friends you made at the university. You are then a sheep, but an elite sheep. You have financial security and status security. Everyone knows that because you went to such and such a school and now have such and such a post (whether in government or the corporate world), that you are deserving of such and such respect.
The problem is, both you and I believe that this entire system is more or less total bullshit.
Neither you nor I could live in that system if we tried. We would do anything to avoid living in that system.
But most of the world believes in that system.
Dammit, we have to create our own world, our own enterprises, find our own money, our own markets, our own customers, our own team, etc.
Much, much, much harder to do.
But it is the only way, the ONLY WAY, that either you or I can look ourselves in the eye each day and respect ourselves.
It doesn’t mean that we absolutely have to start our own companies. But it does mean that we have to work for organizations that:
1. Produce something of real value.
2. Are based internally on real merit.
And most old organizations, government or corporate, are not really doing that.
So mostly we’ll end up either working for or starting new orgs, where there is no security financially and no security status-wise.
But, in the end, much, much greater rewards.” -Michael Strong
Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda