Leaps into the Gloriously Happy

Something caught my eye in my FaceBook newsfeed this morning. The picture of a little girl. She's about to start her first day at school.  (It's South Africa and the school year is just beginning.) She's standing at the gate of her school dressed in full school uniform -- a crisp white blouse and an emerald green skirt. She looks a little apprehensive, but with hands on her hips somewhat defiant and ready for what lies ahead. She looks so proud. But the shoes? She has no shoes on. She's barefoot! The caption reads: " Maybe not a fancy private school in the city but at least she could go without shoes!" The little girl is Mila, daughter of Zelda Roscherr. I first met Zelda as a client and then she became a friend. At the time she was the treasurer of one of the most successful banks in the world. Zelda is a brilliant woman with a sparkling personality, sophisticated and attractive. Zelda and her husband left city life and bought a place amongst the orchards and vineyards of Monatgu, about a hundred miles from Cape Town. Montagu has to be one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. It is  a place where children go to school in uniform and barefoot. There in Montagu,  Zelda manufactures jams and uplifts the lives of the local community of workers. Whenever I hear from her she seems gloriously happy. On a different note I watched a documentary last night on the life and work of veteran New York City fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham. Bill captures the pulse of global fashion in real time with his daily photographs taken impromptu on the streets of New York. For decades he lived in a tiny filing-cabinet filled studio in Carnegie Hall and rode around the city on his bicycle. He often worked for no pay so that he "would not be owned," repaired tears in his plastic rain-poncho with tape and enjoyed cheap coffee and other bargains. Bill is an artist of global stature. Extraordinarily cheerful, like Zelda, Bill Cunningham seems to be gloriously happy.   Zelda and Bill both opted out of convention but are still immensely respected by the conventional. Both have been, and are, successful. Neither had anything to prove when they opted out of convention. Both continue to contribute to their communities and to the world in very different ways. Both seem to be gloriously happy. There are surely many others like Bill and Zelda, but most of us stay chained to the treadmill of conventional expectations even though that treadmill doesn't deliver the level of happiness and fulfillment with which Bill and Zelda seem to be blessed. What keeps us in this irrational bondage? Could what worked for them work for us? Could they have followed their own passions without first succeeding in the conventional passions of society? Today's post is only  observations and questions. But questions are often more valuable than answers. Questions launch journeys; answers terminate them. Answers reveal people's knowledge, but questions reveal their wisdom. We are obsessed with the need to have instant answers, but questions educate more than answers do. Here's my question: How do you overcome inertia and the predictable flow of your life to leap into a void of uncertainty .... and glorious happiness? [caption id="attachment_922" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Zelda[/caption]      

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