Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Don't Let Confusion's Illusion Win The Fight

If there’s one thing that should be feared, it is one of fear’s roots: confusion.

It’s quite a pleasant-sounding word. It even seems somewhat bashful in nature.

But it's misleading to define confusion in such simplistic terms.

It can be a powerful foe, especially when it comes to those with the potential to change the world. Some illustrative examples come to mind.

The confident writer reads extremely scathing reviews, believing them to be the truth. Of course, this would clash with the writer’s own imaginative vision, causing confusion. The writer dare not write anything else because he or she is afraid that future works would also not be met with success. Thus ends a possibly flourishing career.

This could well have been the story of Robert Browning, Rudyard Kipling, J.R.R.Tolkien and many others, if they had chosen to water the seeds of confusion.

A bright young person completes his or her tasks in very strange ways. His/her ways work extremely well, but they are unusual, and generally shunned by society. Society’s fear of the unknown seeps into our young person, who feels confused and upset at what he or she now sees as 'strangeness'. This person now begins to do things in the ‘normal’ way, and does not give in to his or her very real impulses to create and invent.

How many of you see this as the possible end to the genius of Einstein, Van Gogh, and countless other brilliant minds?

Couldn’t there have been an equally premature ending to the stories of Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, and Florence Nightingale? Yes, these stories could have ended before they had begun. Instead, we have an Africa freed from apartheid (officially, at least), the end of black slavery, a non-violent sight of independence, and a healing dedication to nursing.

There’s a healer who loves to heal, preacher who loves to preach, teacher who loves to teach, and student who loves to learn among us, all around us and - perhaps most importantly - in us. There is also the capacity for great confusion in clashing values, cultures, perspectives and priorities.

Let us not forget that giving in to confusion means giving in to an illusion. It saps us of the energy and might to do what we know in are hearts to be right (and I’m not condoning here the actions of suicide bombers and the like). And it dilutes our power to fulfil our potential as beings of creative change.

Don’t let an illusion rob you of the reality that this life could be. Confusion simply isn't worth the claims it makes. Staying focused on your dreams and passions is a far more powerful bet.

After all, dreams have only ever been able to come true for those who believe in them:)

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