From last post – some thoughts inspired by Unforgiving Minute.


Mullaley focuses on the notion of duty when discussing the Ramayana. I grew up with parents who are apart from the culture I grew up in. This created all kinds of problems and interesting/unique experiences. From them I learned and accepted the idea of a lifelong duty to family. While reading Mullaley’s thoughts on duty, I wondered what America’s current cultural notion of duty actually is. Back in the day, JFK helped shape a sense of duty to country. Going back to WW1 and WW2 you saw this reflected through in widespread military service across socioeconomic class. What is our  current sense of duty towards? Is it money? Prosperity? Have we been trained to believe that our duty is to maximize our personal prosperity. That in doing this, we do our service to society? (Shudder) If not this, then what?

Skill and will.

“Skill and will”, he told me, “win battles.”…

“Any knucklehead with sufficient practice can shoot a rifle straight,” he said. “Will, on the other hand, is different. Will takes character.”
The Unforgiving Minute, page 192

An elegant expression of what it takes to succeed. While, clearly, *skill* is not nearly as trivial as the quote makes it appear, the balance of the two rings true. Success can often seem far off, hard to realize, questionable, or even impossible. But, really, it requires just these two things. The hard work to acquire the necessary skills. Hours of training, practice, research, education, etc. It requires the will to believe. To truly, and completely believe, that once you apply your will to a problem, you *will* solve it. I’ve used the phrase “impose my will” previously, and I believe it. If you want something bad enough, I actually believe you can will yourself to achieving it. Life is often a question of will. What’s harder? Acquiring the skill or the will?

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