The Observation of Participation

“Life it is not just a series of calculations and a sum total of statistics, it’s about experience, it’s about participation, it is something more complex and more interesting than what is obvious.” — Daniel Libeskind

Throughout much of life, I have found it is far easier to observe the world around me than to actively engage in the complicated drama that is reality. Sitting back and observing the world while selectively engaging is the life of an introvert. Where the extroverted flock to the center of the action, introverts take everything in while cautiously approaching situations. There are many advantages to this approach to life, however merely sitting back and watching things unfold and never participating is detrimental to a living a complete life. The key is to fight the battles that truly matter.

The trouble with active participation is the world is a complicated place wrought with dramatic occurrences at every turn. As the proverbial fly on the wall, none of this has an affect on us. However, once you make the conscious decision to leap into the fold, the chaos of the world becomes far more intimate. For those who thrive on the drama, this is a dream come true. However, for most of us the primary reason we choose to sit back and let things play out as they may, is to avoid the twists and turns of the emotional roller coaster.

Despite the complications inherent in leaping head first into the maelstrom, sometimes the end result is worth the messiness. These are the moments when simply remaining content as an outsider looking in isn’t good enough. When we need to take a risk and engage with the silliness of the world in order to realize the reward inherent in doing so. The trick is determining the opportunities when they arise.

How does one decide when they should get off the sidelines? As foolish as it may sound, this is when instinct comes into play. While logic should probably be consulted more often in today’s passion driven society, there are times when it impedes potential excellence.  Sometimes when we feel the urge to jump head first into thick of things, its best not to look before one leaps. Though, when doing so, one must be prepared for the potential pitfalls.

The greatest danger with engaging in the games of the life is the potential for failure. Anytime the decision is made to act, there is a possibility things will not go as planned. For some, Murphy’s Law seems to be in full effect and things never seem to go right. While for the others the luck exhibited can be explained by nothing less than a mastery of the force. Whatever the perception may be, one thing is for sure: sitting back and refusing to take the chance ensures mediocrity in all things. We must rise above our reservations and rise to the occasion when it presents itself.

While many times the calm serenity of observation is the right approach to life, sometimes participation is vital. While there may be uncertainty in this course of action, the potential for reward makes it necessary. Entering the fray may end in the very pandemonium we are trying to avoid, but sometimes a little bit of bedlam is better than a lifetime of commonality. After all, living for today is better than waiting for tomorrow.

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