Hello, 2011!

Long-time readers of this blog may recall my mentioning the idea of pareidolia as an example of the human compulsion to ascribe order or meaning to what are essentially random phenomena. In other words, we are all driven to think things matter. I am no different: I see patterns and plans in the events of my life that meet at this point: the beginning of 2011, Wollongong, Australia, Earth.

Even the most skeptical cannot deny the existence of chains of events and causality. The difference comes in with an added layer of meaning: that there is a purpose behind these chains of events. Maybe not a guiding force outside of human agency per se (although I do have opinions on that matter), but certainly a chance to bring meaning to them. To make them mean something.

If I work on the assumption that my intention shapes the choices I make, and therefore the chains of events in my life, I start to have more of a say in what happens to me. I'm not a fan of the Law of Attraction viewpoint; I'm sure there are a lot of starving people in Ethiopia who would just love to know that they brought their sufferings onto themselves, and that if they wish hard enough, full bellies and peace will come to them. But I do know that choices are made based on intentions and core values — often unexamined, even subconscious. One's life becomes a fairly consistent expression of those values and intentions.

I'm pretty sure pretty much everyone reckons their own values and intentions are entirely praiseworthy (otherwise they wouldn't hold them). However, it's worth a thought or two, at the beginning of the year: what do I value? What do I intend to do, be, accomplish? How do I intend to approach adversity, triumph, other people? If everything in my life has led to this point, where do I want to go from here?


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