L.E.G.A.C.Y. Blog Series, “E:” Are You Living to the Extreme?

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So, as we covered in the first L.E.G.A.C.Y. blog installment (“L” for lighthearted), this blog series is about leaving something behind. This is different for each one of us, but the principle is the same. We believe that somehow our actions in this life live on, even if that means for the people, the world, we leave behind.

Some of us believe that what we do in life echoes in eternity. I am one of those people. If you’re not, that’s okay.

I think that, just as in nature, nothing is wasted, energy, including our very own, never destroyed. Perhaps we cannot fathom eternity, but it is just because of that that we can’t rule out the possibility of eternity placing a burden upon us. And as the great mathematician and thinker, Pascal, believed, it is better to have faced that burden, to have embraced too much, then to have risked nothing and left behind the sound of a penny dropping into a pan, instantly drowned out by the clatter of the cosmos.

And the more extreme your actions, the more they reverberate.

That’s the idea behind today’s blog.

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But extreme is a big word … a broad word. What do I mean by it, exactly?

Surely I don’t mean for you to be outrageous, cautionless, or fool hearty, throwing reasonableness, even practical sanity, to the wind.

Then what do I mean?

To be extreme is to take every road in our life, even the most minute, to its end, if possible, pushing ourselves as far, nay, farther, than we ever thought we might … until we are at the crossroads where we could lose our life balance (we’ll cover life balance under “Y,” at the end of the blog series).

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For example, when I create a work of art (e.g., a novel), I do not shy away from bringing every aspect to that work of art that the work asks for, no matter how volatile, how controversial, that aspect may be. I’m often criticized for my work being too dark, too poetical, too this, too that, blah, blah, blah.

And my answer is always the same.

To mitigate, or, God forbid, leave out, any aspect that I feel a work of art naturally demands, is tantamount to selling out one’s soul. Why not go work for Disney? (Though, be warned, Disney productions, in recent years, are not always short of dark or controversial aspects).

So, the next time you’re pursuing your passion and you see a cliff at the end of a road, don’t just turn around; walk right up to it, look down, maybe even sit at the edge and lean over a little bit.

Yours in literature,

J.G.C.

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3 thoughts on “L.E.G.A.C.Y. Blog Series, “E:” Are You Living to the Extreme?

  1. Kristina Stanley July 17, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    Sitting at the edge of a cliff is a great way to motivate yourself to take risks. And risks bring rewards. And rewards bring contentment. Writing a novel is putting yourself out the world and an extreme test of who you are. But if you didn’t try, you’d never know…

  2. kennamckinnon August 19, 2015 / 5:39 am

    Next vacation I plan on a zipline adventure. That’s sort of like going over a cliff, in my opinion.

    Safely, though. I think.

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