Everything is Amazing

Life is incredible.

I started this blog as a creative outlet that I knew I needed. So far it’s been relatively successful. I’ve managed to share geeky parenting projects, super-nerdy internet infrastructure stories, and some personal moments via photography or just brief stories.

But ultimately, at the end of the day… let’s say today, for instance. A person may – with great long-term effort and societal metaphorical chess-playing – find himself in an existentially significant place at any given moment; not an unnatural state, considering the gravity of life and conscious existence. One may see that a day’s experiences reveal critically important personal mysteries, questions, or answers. Those unknown, possibly terrifying, and hopefully exploratory thoughts are of great value.

I am forever reminded of a quote from my high school senior literature teacher. This man, Dr. Mooney at Boise High School, influenced me greatly, and I am sure he imparted lasting wisdom upon many of his students. I find myself reciting this simplified life philosophy over and over again, day after day, and that after nearly 20 years it has become a part of who I am and how I act on a daily, hourly, even momentary basis.

“You do what you do because of what you most value at the time.”

If one were to take that statement to heart and embrace the blunt and undeniable reality it reveals, it shall become difficult – impossible, even – to make excuses for one’s decisions and actions, down to each and every immeasurable fraction of time during which conscious reality forces choices to be made and actions to be performed.

The sentence is fundamentally and unquestionably true. It is wholly unavoidable and undeniable. It is a matter of fact. We truly do act and decide based upon our immediate wants, needs, desires, and emotions; our true values at any given time. All the time. Regardless of how those personal variables may fluctuate, insistently dynamic and fleeting. For me, this is as a rare truth in an otherwise complex and confusing existence, a part of life that cannot be altered and thus remains pure no matter the decisions I make and actions I execute. It is comforting, ultimately, to accept that I truly am defined by my real-time decisions and actions. No amount of thoughtful rationalization or excuse-making can change the reality of what I actually do at any given moment in my life. Actions are permanent, immutable. What I have done cannot be undone; the past cannot be altered and therefore must be accepted and embraced as part of who I am. Or at least who I once was.

This doesn’t mean we are enslaved by our decisions, imprisoned by our choices and actions in the real-time world. Rather, this philosophy helps us to accept, to understand, that a decision we make at any given time is undeniably reflective of our immediate values and intentions. “Actions speak louder than words”, as the saying goes.

Embrace this concept and one can no longer deny the reality of oneself, one’s existence right now. And, ultimately, one can no longer disregard the effect actions and decisions have on one’s immediate reality and everything affected by those actions and that reality.

You do what you do because of what you most value at the time.

I choose to live by this basic philosophy, to embrace the responsibility of my decisions and actions. Because they do, without question and irrevocably, define who I am. Thus, life is beautiful, albeit fleeting; it takes place only in the present tense and the decisions and actions we execute cannot be altered. Every moment of every day. What we do defines who we are. Accept that truth and one is capable of viewing the world with great clarity. Heavy though it may seem, it truly is reality and ultimately is beautifully simple. As such, I remain content and secure in the reality which is revealed by this basic philosophical concept; that which I have specifically created by the long series of choices I have made and actions I have executed during my life. This is who I am.

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3 thoughts on “Everything is Amazing”

  1. Laurel Leigh says:

    Hi Marshall,

    It’s awesome to meet another of Dr. Mooney’s former students! He should get his own statue in Boise one of these days. Thanks for a thoughtful trip to the past.

    Best wishes,
    Laurel Leigh

    1. Marshall Stokes says:

      Thanks, Laurel 🙂

  2. Jilanne Hoffamnn says:

    I’ll remember this the next time I’m tempted to follow Alice down the Facebook hole instead of write. Thank you! And please thank Dr. Mooney for me. Cheers!

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