I have making only rare appearances lately, because I have had to make a choice. Write on the blog, or try to keep my head above water? I have a few posts in my head that need more time and reflection to do them a good service.
Today, I am going to cheat. We have had a book floating around the house for the last few weeks. My husband took a trip out to Kripalu, a yoga retreat center in western Massachusetts, and brought back The Book of Questions, by Gregory Stock, Ph.D. It is a wonderful way of opening up conversation with kids who are teens and older, with a spouse or partner, or a friend. It is also great to just flip through on your own and ponder.
Here are a few of the questions, from a quick and random flip through:
1. What has been your biggest disappointment in life? your biggest failure?(#197)
2. Would you like to be famous? in what way? (#85)
3. If you knew you could devote yourself to any single occupation - music, writing, acting, business, politics, medicine, etc. -and be among the best and most successful in the world at it, what would you choose? If you knew you only had a 10 percent chance at being so successful, would you still put in the effort? (#36)
4. Would you rather be extremely successful professionally and have a tolerable yet unexciting private life, or have an extremely happy private life and only a tolerable and uninspiring professional life? (#14)
4a. The follow-up to this question: Since so many place great emphasis on a happy private life, why do people end up putting more energy into their professional lives? If you feel your private life is more important to you, do your priorities support this? Are you simply unwilling to admit that work is more important? Do you hope that professional success will somehow magically lead to personal happiness?The book is full of these kinds of questions, and some silly and outrageous ones too. If you have a long car ride ahead, or maybe want some entertainment other than television for a vacation trip, I highly recommend getting a copy of the book. You will probably learn a few things about yourself as well as those around you.
5. A close friend asks - and genuinely wants - your honest opinion about something, but your opinion is one that he is likely to find quite painful. For example, your friend is an artist and asks your honest estimate of being successful. You think he is an atrocious artist who hasn't the slightest chance of success. What would you do? (#144)