Monday, June 3, 2013

Narrowing Path

My devouring of books lately is being reflected in my blog posts with many book quotes. I've just come upon several good books that I've wanted to share with you.

This latest book of mine is A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. The reference to a mage in the quote must be taken in the context of a wizarding world.

"You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do...."

I believe every child has wanted to be an adult at one point because then they could do anything they wanted anytime they wanted, or so they thought. While there is some truth to that wishful thinking, there is a lot of truth to the above quote.

Honestly, if we didn't have to have a job and work, how many of us would? Not many. Or we would just work a little here and there. How many of us would go to bed at a decent hour, mop the floor, and weed the yard if we didn't have to? Not many. We would do it sometimes but probably not enough.

A child's concept of adult life is like a Peter Pan Never Land imaging. When you're an adult you can go to any restaurant you want any time. You can watch whatever you want. You get to tell other people what to do. Nobody makes you eat your vegetables. Nobody makes you do homework.

As children turn into teenagers, they test their new found freedoms with mixed results and learn from experience. They learn to be responsible, hopefully, and a good contributor to society.

As teens turn into adults, they learn that technically they have the ability to choose to do whatever they want, but there are consequences to all choices and making the right choices, though potentially boring, seems to be the best way.

Many people find rules, laws, religion, regulations, demands, and instructions to be prohibiting of the free lifestyle their inner child still craves. In truth, like the quote, those rules show a path where one must go and do if they want to achieve true happiness and peace.

There are as many variations of this path as there are people, but there is still just a narrow road that leads to true happiness versus temporary indulgence and amusement.

Regardless of any laws, commandments, and rules, can I stay up all night tonight while drinking and having unprotected sex with strangers and throwing rocks through windows? Yes, I can. Yes, you can. Yes, anyone can do that. Can I do that without any negative consequences? Absolutely not.

Any person at any moment can choose to do bad or good, but most choose to do good because they have learned that all choices have consequences. So can I go do drugs tonight to relax my mind after a long week? Yes, but more importantly, will I? No, because I don't like the consequences associated with it.

Can I go to bed at a decent hour after eating vegetables with my dinner tonight? Yes, but more importantly, will I? Hopefully, because I do like the consequences associated with it.

Yes, we all have the power to make infinite choices of good and bad at all times, but we stick to the narrow path, not because someone told us to, but because we know it leads to true happiness, which is always worth having.


  1. Great post! Choices and consequences are hard but necessary.

  2. If there weren't choices and consequences, this world would be chaos!