I hold to the idea that unlikely sources of hope and wisdom will come at me every day if I just have the capacity to listen and engage. Sometimes they change my worldview for just a moment and sometimes they help me decide which color paint to buy.
Once the woman who ran the cafeteria at work offered to tell me the two secrets to her marriage of some impressive number of years (1) Always have your own money and (2) no matter what happens, you have to let your partner grow in whatever direction they need to. The conversation lasted about10 minutes over 5 years ago. My partner and I have three bank accounts: his, hers and ours and she is pursuing a long eluded graduate degree at the expense of a second income.
It's hard to say upfront what will stick and what won't. I have participated in about half a dozen personality profile tests such as the Myers Briggs, but it is an astrology reading four years ago by my neighbor that has been the most accessible interpretation of my own destiny, offering the best personal metaphor for my consciousness -- Helping me to explain myself to myself.
My ability to listen closely to the pulse of my perceived world keeps me on my toes; from wrapping my faith too tightly around the scientific or the latest one sizes fits all metaphysical formula. By paying attention I can add an element of magic to my day, and allow myself the opportunity to create my own reality out of the serendipitous yarn spun by random encounters, forwarded emails and sometimes fortune cookies.
For me, the fortune taps into some primal reservoir of trust in the universe – it is the prompt for a days events; the straw that breaks some block of indecision. Words on a slip of paper are caught by sensitive brain receptors that say "you need to hear this."
Oh and the two fortunes taped to the inside cover of my daily planner right now:
"Alter ideas and you alter the world," And "Anyone who dares to be can never be weak."
Seth Gordon lives in Yellow Springs and is the Associate Director of Enrollment Services at Antioch University McGregor.