Why must we always know where we’re going?

23 05 2009

Why do Americans always want a road map telling us how to get from Point A to Point B…and C…and so on?

I’m not just talking about the road maps we all use for travel this Memorial Day weekend.  I’m talking about the obsessive need for a road map to every aspect of our life.

Now, as someone who’s made a living in the worlds of politics and communications, I certainly see the value of good road maps.  Hell, I’ve made a damned fine living creating them.  And there’s no doubt that they work in getting you exactly where you want to go.

It’s just that I increasingly wonder what’s lost in securing so predictable a victory?  And, increasingly, I chuckle at the irony that a nation that professes to have so much faith seems to have none when it comes to letting life unfold in a natural way.  Perhaps we doth profess too much?

The question comes to mind as I prepare to launch an artistic journey related to gay men.  It’s a journey without borders, with no road map, no plan, no predetermined end.  One that tests my own faith that it’s path, not the destination, that matters most in life.

And it is driving those around me absolutely crazy.

When I tell them I’m launching the project in Philadelphia, they say “Oh, is there a conference there?”  “Do you know people there?”

When I reply, “No,” they give me a quizzical look.

“Oh,” they say, “well then why Philly?”

“I have no idea,” I reply.  “I’ve never even been there.  It’s just where I feel called to go.”

And on and on it goes, as they quiz me about anticipated outcome after outcome…bewildered by the thought that anyone would take a journey–hell, even a step–without a pretty good idea of where it’s leading.

I guess if folks want to follow the same road map over and over, good for them.  There’s nothing wrong with being asleep behind the wheel of life.  Or put another way, for some folks, all they want is a good life’s sleep.  If that’s their true intent, then good for them!!

For me, all in all,….wait for it….I’d rather be in Philadelphia!!

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