Have you ever felt like you owe someone something? I mean, like inexplicably so. Well, I do. My own compulsion to be involved in life – including a juvenile sense of public life – seems to spring in part from this. Not to say, mind you, that I myself don’t feel I have – innately – something to offer by doing so or that I don’t have larger schemes and dreams…
But, that feeling remains. I’m not even sure anymore who I really direct these feelings towards, but know the why. I should – probably – have died soon after or during birth. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to do any of the things I have in my life or anything at all. The doctors told my parents I’d be affected in terms of speech and other manners in ways I haven’t been through my lovely disability (not kidding in saying that appellation either) which has given them a sense of gratitude for where I am in life and the kinds of things I do.Yet, I still feel this ever-present debt. Not to a god – as even if I believed in one, it was an all-too human effort to preserve my continued existence. I suppose, in some ways, I believe such things are owed to the public – as it was a publicly-run system that allowed me to be here. How different I might think were the system otherwise? But, the same could be said no matter the circumstance I suppose.
Still, this concept that I owe someone (if not all) a debt in this way, influences how I see things. For example: Leadership in anything, really, should never be considered so. That’s for others to decide if it is so and, really, misses the point of what roles often called as such are supposed to do. I get nervous around people who want to be leaders, who call themselves leaders, who declare themselves and others to be a class of leaders. Those people usually don’t want to lead anything, but take for themselves. To me, roles confused for leadership should be viewed as service. Perhaps its the Catholic-Christian upbringing permeating through, but I really can’t square with the idea of taking on a role like that as anything other work for others, rather than as control of others.
Not to marytr myself here – because I’m full of faults, bad decisions, terrible habits and I’m sure most people could list such things to reach the Moon – but I just tend to view things this way and I think I do so in part because of my inexorable feeling of a life-debt. I serve in these capacities to pay back society for the wonderful and rare experiences in my life. Is it that I don’t feel I deserve it? Maybe… I mean, I’ve gotten extraordinarily lucky when it comes to a lot of the things I’ve been able to take part in.
I really don’t know and I guess it would take another to really dig that deep into my psyche – though this whole self-analysis thing is kinda my schitck.