"treat life as a workshop"

acclaimed nigerian writer, ben okri, is a brilliant man. this (as appeared in an interview by jurriaan kamp, in the may 2006 issue of ode magazine) is one reason why:

“The problem of our world is not just that there are people who are ideologically unsound; Our problem is that there are too many people who are not properly fitted for their jobs...Many people are in vocations that are at odds with their true natures. That is not the best way for them to contribute to this world. When you are at odds with your vocation, you acquire a skewed view of the world. And what you give to the world winds up being skewed too...If only more people would be true to their sense of their vocations, we would have more happiness in this world.

Education tends to divert us from our true selves. Education is not about putting facts into the heads of children. Education should help children discover their talents and their best qualities—no matter how humble or how exalted. I think it goes back to our parents. I was fortunate enough to have a father who at a certain point allowed me to go my own way. He wanted me to be a lawyer, but when I persisted in my desire to become a writer, he let me be. If you have parents who are over-determining, it will be too late before you discover where your best talents lie. They should let you treat life as a workshop in which you are working solely on yourself, working out who you are. Making your mistakes, stumbling along, it will eventually become apparent that you are better at this than at that. Or that you are feeling happier when you do one thing than when you do another. I think that is what enables good fortune...[read more on ben okri's perspectives on vocation...]"


Lisa said...

Oh, how many more happy people would there be if instead of doing what others think we should do, we did what our hearts told us we must.

Ms. Peri said...

I have been, for far too long, a writer who does not write. I was laid off last week and discovered, to my surprise, that I experienced relief, not panic.

This post could not have come at a better time.

iyan and egusi soup: said...

dear ms. peri:

thank you for coming by!

i'm glad you found this post at the perfect moment. perhaps the feeling of relief holds the answers on what might be next. i look forward to hearing more, as you go.