This post begins a multi-part series inspired by the poem The Invitation, by Oriah.
Don’t judge a book by its cover…
It could be a beautiful cover that leads you into a story that wastes your time.
It could also be a boring cover with a life changing story hiding inside.
The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” invites us to begin below the surface.
It invites us to begin with anticipation and to see things as intrinsically deeper than they appear.
It is an invitation that beautifully applies to every area of our lives.
Each of our senses provides one part of a person’s story.
Each sense causes us to make up a story based on its perception.
Our eyes usually create the biggest hurdle.
Oriah’s poem opens with;
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
“What do you do for a living?” is a perfectly acceptable question.
It is, however, the conversational equivalent of a book cover.
Why do you want to know and how will the answer impact the way you see a person?
Measuring your paycheck or professional position against them?
Just making idle chit chat?
Convinced they have it better than you and trying to fuel your own sad story?
Like I said, it is an absolutely acceptable question.
It’s what’s behind the question that matters.
I am not suggesting that we begin walking up to people saying “Excuse me sir, what do you ache for?”.
Though it would be interesting to hear what people have to say!
I’m asking you to consider a deeper level of wonder.
I believe every person has a longing.
I also believe that Thoreau was right when he said “most men live lives of quiet desperation”.
Our social norms and cultural constructs rarely bring deep fulfillment.
When we concern ourselves with the meaningful desires of another, we validate the most beautiful, precious part of them and may even get to help fuel the bringing of those desires to fruition.
What does curiosity about the dreams of others do for your own dreams?
Could it be, that curiosity and validation are a two way street?
I ache to love others to the point of transformation.
I am working to answer my heart’s double dog dare every day.
Its how I want to live…