Little things and future fortunes

Walk the Line

I left my Kindle on my flight home on Friday night. It’s not exactly the first time I’ve left something behind on a train or a plane. It will either turn up or it will not and, if it doesn’t, there’s not much I can do about it. 

So, I’ve been accessing my daily reading via the Kindle app on my iPad Mini. The experience isn’t quite as good, but I’m glad to still have access to my collection. This morning, as I weigh up some potential changes in my life, a couple of maxims from François de La Rochefoucauld struck a chord: 

The temperament that produces a talent for little things is the opposite of that required for great ones.

…and:

If you cannot predict your future fortunes, you cannot predict what you will do with them.

There’s a recent Team Human podcast episode with the artist and activist Steve Lambert where he explains how difficult it is for people to see beyond the immediate goal they have in mind. Steve asks people to think what they’ll do when they’ve been successful in their current goal, and the one after that, and the one after that, and so on. Often, he says, we don’t know the ultimate thing for which we’re striving. We’re too heads-down.

For me, and I guess for most people who are the main wage-earners in their family, I ‘walk the line’ between individual fulfilment and providing for my family. The best situation, of course, is to get these in alignment. In the office in my old house, I used to have the Shepard Fairey-designed poster that I’ve included at the top of the post hanging displayed prominently. It was a daily reminder that I’m a husband and father first, and everything else second.