On my ride to work this morning, I noticed a dog jumping for joy and for his leash. The sight of the pup made me think about why dogs are so happy and humans are not. One major benefit of riding a motorcycle is that clarity in the moment helps me come to conclusions about big ideas. I hypothesized that the contrast occurs because humans no longer believe they serve any master other than themselves. We are unhappy because we have lost the ability to believe that we have a purpose to serve for a greater master. We no longer respect the wisdom of the law, our leaders, our parents, our spouse, God, or even school teachers. In our world everyone fails, in our world we no longer believe that we have an important place for those below us or above us, because the hierarchy has been dissolved through a strange brew of capitalism, liberty, science and socialism.
At the same time, as I travel in this world I am forced to see just how insignificant anything that I can possibly achieve is. I will never build a monument like the Brooklyn Bridge, I will never take Steve McCurry’s National Geographic portrait of the Afghani girl, and I will never be able to cover even half of this earth in my travels like Marco Polo; so who am I?
My best times, my most creative times have always revolved around a great master teacher – a person who I believed to be god-like in his or her abilities and knowledge. We call those people mentors these days, in fact we have devalued their authority by doing so, because it assumes that their superiority is merely momentary, fixed only until we can learn their tricks and see behind the curtain.