If you’re close to me or if you’ve read any of my past blog posts, you’ll know that there is a particular topic I love to write about — and that is how we are products of our environments, sums of our indulgences, and outcomes of our experiences. I’m a firm believer that one simply cannot escape being morphed by the surroundings one places oneself in. I’m a firm believer that we pick up the behavioural habits of those closest to us, from speech to daily routines. I’m a firm believer that we become an average of the people we most associate with.
If we were to look at this culturally, you could simply take a walk in the core of a metropolitan city and see the widely varying evidence of these statements. Walk in to a club, walk in to a church, or walk in to a coffee shop and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find a lingo, behaviour, or style of dress that is exclusive amongst that particular group of people.
We are easily influenced creatures. Some of us would vehemently deny this and put up a wall to protect themselves from such a claim, yet the very truth of this matter is spoken of even thousands of years ago (1 Corinthians 8:9 / 15:33). When we read literature, when we watch movies, or when we hang out with people, we are influenced. We become an average of the content and moments experienced. If our lives were a blank canvas, each decision we make would be a stroke of paint with the corresponding colour of that experience.
I love consuming the prime rib, the lobster, the fine wine of what the world offers. I love to read great books by great authors. I love to watch the finest cinematography by the finest filmmakers. I love to indulge in the delightful moments of friendship I have around me. I love to do these things because I love having the opportunity to see the world from their eye’s, from their perspective, and from their mind’s. I absolutely love the opportunity I have to surround myself with all that they are and perhaps have the opportunity of slowly becoming an average of all their hard work, creativity, and dedication.
However, I’ve recently found myself reflecting on a conviction within my soul. The conviction that asks the questions “Who are you trying to be? What really matters in this world? What is this all about?” The conviction that asks me what is most important. The conviction that encourages my passion to learn, to grow, and to enter the minds of the mortals I have access to, but also the conviction that conflicts my soul as I realize the opportunity I often miss out on to enter the very mind of the Immortal I have greater access to.
What would really happen if we spent more time in the mind of the Author of the greatest piece of literature to exist? What would really happen if we spent more time indulging in the art of the greatest Artist to exist? What would really happen if we spent more time enjoying the friendship of the greatest Friend to exist?
These are questions I cannot pretend to answer right now, but it is my hope that one day when the canvas of my life has been covered with the paint strokes of my indulgences and experiences, it will be an answer of inspiration for those who will walk ahead of me.