“Be a lighthouse, not a tugboat.”
I’ve been giving this saying some thought. A lighthouse shows the way in a storm. A tugboat tows boats who cannot get where they need to go under their own power. At first I didn’t like this saying at all because I think of tugboats as really good helper boats. I actually like them better than lighthouses. But don’t get me wrong, I know real life lighthouses have saved countless lives. I don’t know how many lives tugboats have saved.
But, of course, the saying isn’t about literal tugboats and lighthouses. I just like to explore metaphors from all angles. I also get the point of the saying— don’t try to drag people over to your way of thinking— instead, just cheerfully keep doing it. (and if they ignore you and end up on the rocks, oh well..?)
Is my conversational style more lighthouse or tugboat? Do I love having conversations with tugboat styles? I dunno. I’m comparing and contrasting Liz Gilbert’s, “Big Magic” to Steven Pinker’s, “Enlightenment Now.” Lighthouse vs Tugboat? More like, Fresh Ripe Mangos to Cold, Black Coffee.
Does the “Big Magic” love us back? Or is the Universe indifferent to us? What if the latter is true, but if we go about our lives “as if” the former were true, we are happier and more loving and more effective? I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that I absolutely adore listening to Liz’s book and Pinker’s book so far feels like a long lecture, even when I agree with him. His book is about 5 times longer and it’s about very different things, but they both present a way of looking at the world. So far, I prefer Liz’s. But in the interest of challenging my own confirmation bias bubble, I will keep listening to Pinker’s book to the end. Then I might start over and go back to write down all the things I want to argue with him about.
Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing, may you be well, may you be happy, and may you experience deep joy, deep love, and deep peace.