Every now and again, I feel like I’m in a rut that I appropriately refer to as ‘bottom feeding’. I face the same societal and economic stressors as the rest of our land dwelling population, and these days much of that stress comes from finances.
Professional ventures often reach these crossroads where you are either ‘all in’ to take the next step, or ‘all out’ and reign in that bold and often liberal idea until a more conservative approach can be reached. This liberal and conservative progress philosophy is of course a major economic driver at a variety of scales, and the most scary thing about it is the unpredictability of the future – though of course, history does tend to repeat itself and the planet is cyclical by nature. We’ve known this since the birth of civilization. However, of course, those big decisions we make today – we hope – pan out before the next b’ak’tun (though that’s not that far off according to scholars).
Anyway, a colleague of mine reminded me very recently of the consistency in political ideology here in the US, with both moderate and conservatives hovering at 40% of the population each, and liberals making up the remaining 20%. In more recent years, we see a slight boost in both conservatives and liberals, which is reflected well with what is going on in the world today – more protests, more war, more social upheaval, and so on. Makes good sense. Stress increases, and people either clam up and wait for someone else to fix the problem, or take action to fix the problem themselves. Funny how all this political mumbo jumbo starts making sense as you get a bit older.
Back to ‘bottom feeding’…this is my reality check in many ways. While I’ve always been a big thinker, I’ve learned some hard lessons from liberal actions in the past, and now think big, but act much more moderately, uunderstanding that finding ones place in the cycles of time is more important than altering time altogether.
So, my reality check is that while its important to keep an eye on the big picture, to grasp reality here and now. That reality is that I make my living the hard way (there is no easy way per se of course), and the majority of days I’m working on the bottom, literally, as a laborer in the sea. While there are unlimited opportunities, the question is how to go from ‘here’ – a bottom feeder – to ‘there’.
It’s funny where life takes you, and to be honest, finding peace and enjoyment in where you are now is what’s most important. Last week I spent my typical 30+ hours underwater working in a black hole; and just yesterday I found myself at the table with a group of corporate executives from a major pharma company discussing plans for the newly proposed Oceans Aquarium Research & Science Center here in the Ocean State.
When I’m here, deep in thought about the big picture, the best advice to take is my own – go for a dive. This brings it all back to reality, where bottom feeding isn’t so bad, and helps keep in perspective that for progress – good ole American progress – ‘good things happen to those who wait’, a quote from my grandfather.