Now what was I looking for ?
We’re all seekers. Whether we recognize it or not, we begin in our childhood and that search never ends. Age and circumstances may tie us ultimately to one city, one street, one house, one room and even one bed or chair, but the search goes on.
“Happiness” or “fulfillment” is what nine out of ten will say they seek, and perhaps that’s as good a name for it as any. But call it what one may, it’s a life-long search.
To some it means a place, a location, and those are the travelers of the world. In an earlier age they were the explorers. The restless ones who always looked beyond the horizon, certain that the next country, city or ocean would give the answer, the completion to their inner hunger.
Today, they go to the moon, circle far planets, prowl the isolated corners of the world. They have ‘sand in their shoes’ and are never content in one place. Among their names are Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan, Lewis and Clark, DeSoto, The Vikings, the Pilgrims, our Pioneers, missionaries who, the world over, traveled, their entire lives, seeking, seeking, seeking.
Then there are the ones who seek their happiness in people. They are the ‘family’ people of the world, the service people, the finders of the needy and givers of what is needed. The nurses, as Florence Nightingale, who gave help to injured in wars the restless men had created.
Again, in a more simple age, they were the ones who had large families, or went to India, China, Africa, or to the slums of any great city to find the destitute and gave alms. They are the ones who, no matter how wealthy they might be, reached out and gave voluntary aid in hospitals, held benefits, sponsored foundations.
They established food kitchens for the hungry, clinics for the sick, aged and poor, and organized societies for relief of any who needed help. They are the ones, who even though there is work to be done at home, find time to hear and answer the call for help. They too, seek, seek, seek.
Then there are the seekers who, perhaps, travel further than any other, although they may never ever leave home. These are the ones who recognize that happiness, true everlasting happiness, is to be found only within themselves.
Early on they learned that a restless, unfulfilled person will be just as restless and unfulfilled in Timbuktoo as he was in Chicago, Tokyo, New York, or Murray, Utah. He is the one who learns that if there is no peace within, he’ll never find peace any other place. Or in any other person.
We finally know that If there is no joy within our self, we’ll search long and futilely for joy elsewhere. If there is no love within, we’ll find no love without.
These, to me, are the most adventurous seekers of all. They might never visit a new country, or dream of setting foot on a planet, and may seem (to those around them) to be a bit ‘different’. And could be, for these are the ones who have read Thoreau’s “Walden”, have heard the different drummer he told about, and then have courage enough to step to that beat, no matter how far off it may at first seem.
These are the ones who seek to know themselves. And, joy, joy, joy, when they begin to ‘find themselves’, find that’s also where the happiness, fulfillment and love has been hidden..
We’re all seekers, and the lucky ones find that the longest, deepest, most exciting road is the one which reaches, not outward, but strangely enough, turns and goes straight inward. Right to the spot where the joy, happiness and peace of the whole world is centered. Within one’s own heart.