I've been pondering a concept that's been with me for a long time, but appears to have added relevance for me the last few days. In my constant struggle to try to find the proper words to frame concepts, I'm going to lean back on a couple of terms borrowed from one of my favourite authors. However, I take the definitions in a slightly different (further?) direction than I expect he was intending and that's my doing, not his. But it's all good.
Notion: You're either a host or a guest in this world.
Hosts have a sense of ownership of what they do, who they are and where they're going. They take responsibility for themselves and their place. They're the providers, builders, creators. They work to build a framework. Being a host doesn't imply rank or importance — you can be a host and be a leader, a follower, or a lone wolf. Nor does it imply strictly physical, financial or practical things, though these are the most common expressions.
Guests are occupants. They may be loved, important, or special to the hosts, but they have little sense of ownership, responsibility over the world around them. In some cases, issues of dependency can arise.
Everyone is a guest at some points in their life. Everyone's a guest during infancy, of course. Virtually everyone is a guest through childhood as well. As adults, there are always times when we're overwhelemed or incapable of being a host. Everyone needs unquestioned support at some point. Making the transition from guest to host can seem daunting and overwhelming as well; doubly so the first couple of times.
Problems arise when a guest remains one too long. No matter how cared for, such a guest becomes a burden, and eventually, an unwelcome one. This does not do anyone any good. The best way to deal with this... I dunno. I'm still working that bit out. I think one of the important things is to avoid compounding the issue with further guests.
No, it doesn't answer every question. It's not a Theory of Everything. It is a useful view of things, but not universal.
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