“I am suffocated and lost when I have not the bright feeling of progression.” – Margaret Fuller
Here lies a common and persistent problem for us, not just as individuals, but as a culture.
Progress is a cultural idea, and one that has served humanity well, when it has been thought out and directed. Medicine, sanitation, supplies of food and water, all of our daily needs are more easily met through the achievements of progress. But progress is also responsible for the devastation of natural environments, individual problems with physical and mental health, and war and all that comes with it.
Its the same for us as individuals. Individual success can be built on failed relationships and broken promises much easier than if the time is taken to tend to those things.
If all that what value is progress and all that we want to feel if happiness and freedom, it is easy to forget the realities of everyday life. Sometimes we feel stuck. Sometimes we are overcome by sadness and grief.
Chasing progress is admirable, but not if you are running away. When you run you cannot see clearly the devastation you may be leaving in your wake.
If you are lost in the wilderness it is not wise to keep going in the direction you are going without trying to determine where you are in relation to shelter and water and food.
If you are “suffocated and lost” in life, don’t just pick any direction and go. Pause, get your bearings and choose your direction. Do it consciously, aware of the impacts it may have on your health, your relationships, and the world itself.
Making conscientious and deliberate progress is significantly more valuable to you and those around you than rushing out in any direction in order to feel you are moving forward.