Thoughts on the ‘quest for example’

As I reflect on my life, I can see that a big part of my life has been nothing but a ‘quest for example’.  In fact, I first defined it when I was about 20, in the late 1980’s.  Back then I called it the ‘mentor issue’.  I used to take long walks at night.  I noticed that I was always seeming to be looking for something.  But I never could quite figure it out.  One day, I thought about it and couldn’t figure it out.  Some moments later I found myself thinking about how I used to be able to look up to older guys when I was younger.  I knew then what I was looking for – a mentor.

And now, a quarter of a century later, I’m still looking for a mentor.  None has been found.

I can see it in a lot of my thinking, in a lot of my wants, in a lot of how I view life.  I am, after all, only looking for a mentor . . . an example of how to live and be.

Here I am, in the middle of a major city, and yet there’s no mentor!  How can that be?

For sure, human society has not provided me with this simple human want.  There are no older men to ask, there are no older men to guide me, there’s no one to tell me how to live my life.  There’s no one, really, to even show me.  There seems to be no one. 

I’ve spent hours of my life looking . . .

History gave some close mentors but, unfortunately, they are all dead.  All I read is words.  This is a limited way to receive an example.  But, I guess, its something . . .

It seems that my only ‘example’ is my own gut, my own intuition. 

This amazes me as, here I am in the middle of thousands of people . . . and there’s nothing!  I’m in a society that professes all this knowledge . . . and there’s nothing!  I’m in a society that professeses that its the answer to the worlds problems . . . and there’s nothing!

I found myself getting envious of other cultures where I’d hear guys who spoke of all the mentors and guides they had in their life.

. . . and I have nothing!

One day I made a joke that went something like this:  Look at all those people in those small societies. They have all these examples and people to look up to.  But what do I have . . . reruns of ‘I love Lucy’. 

This was funny for a few months.  Then, one day, the reality hit me:  it’s true.

I couldn’t believe it.

This society has apparently failed me in this respect, as it does with many of us nowadays.  I can see it in kids nowadays.  It seems this society is more interested in cramming kids full of useless information than giving them example.  This, basically, is what happened to me.  After all my schooling, after all my A’s, after all my studying, it still couldn’t provide with a sufficient example of how to live.

As a result, I’ve had to go at it alone.  From my conversations and observations of other people, this seems common.  I always thought this was weird.  If we are a people, shouldn’t we have some ‘collective wisdom’ on how to live? 

Apparently, we do not.  How can that be?  Here we all are, crammed together, thousands of us . . . and theres no ‘collective wisdom’.

Something just seems so odd with this.  Is this right?  Am I missing something? 

How many times have I questioned myself.  How many times have I wondered if it was me. 

Something . . . just doesn’t seem right to me.  It just seems that it should not be like this.  I should not be having this problem. 

But yet I am.

I look still, continually, for the ‘great mentor’, as I jokingly say, and the example of how to live.  So far, I’ve only found it only within my own intuition . . . in the midst of thousands of people . . . in the midst of an ‘advanced’ civilization.

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