On and off since I was a child I’ve enjoyed fishing. A gift from my father.
It’s not something that I’ve ever done regularly (or expertly) and I’ve never endured the extremes of discomfort that some do. What I’ve always enjoyed about fishing is the sense of adventure with the application of a little skill and effort. Perhaps most importantly, experiencing the fishing location itself and all that the great outdoors brings to that place. It’s a great education in “noticing” amongst many other things.
As a child I remember visiting fishing ponds stocked heavily with captive trout. You’d throw in a handful of food and see an artificial display of dozens of fish fighting for those morsels. You could even fish less heavily stocked ponds. Perhaps a great way to learn how to cast a line, catch and land a fish for a child. Artificial but not entirely without purpose. Fishing those captive grounds forever would just be pointless to my mind.
Yet in so many walks of life I see many people “fishing” those small heavily stocked captive ponds. Safe. Certain. Artificial.
There may be learning but it’s limited by its small environment.
There may be experience but it’s nothing like the unknown.
There may be a sense of adventure but it lacks the depth and reality the wider natural world brings.
We are humans who truly strive and thrive on the richness of the real world. It is beautifully challenging, uncertain and real.
If you spend your time in the safe, certain and artificial “bubbles” you’ll be rewarded. You may even enjoy it greatly. You’ll just never experience the beauty and richness beyond where the deeper learning happens. Where life really lives. Isn’t that where we all truly belong?
Hi David. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Easy rewards are cheap wins, but it takes effort to move away to situations where the rewards are less certain.
For many years I tried to do something different every year, ideally something that scares me or sounds awful so I can confront that fear or see if I’ve been missing out on a great experience. Deciding I’m going to do something precisely because I don’t want to do it can be the impetus I need to get out of a rut.
In recent years I’ve found that gliding satisfies my need to “fish away from the captive ponds” – there’s always a challenge and a new set of circumstances to interpret and handle, and dancing with gravity certainly sharpens the focus!
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