Ok…who gets this? Anybody? Anybody?
So, here’s an engineering problem for you. What do you do when you run out of room to store water?
Just go with it. Imagine this scenario. You are in charge of directing a flow of water to a well. Man-made well, natural well, it doesn’t matter. There is a well and you need to get the water to it. With me so far?
Ok, so what’s the first thing to do? Right, build a canal. To build the canal, you figure out a way to route the water from the source (and let’s just assume the source is known and definable…say a river) to the well. Fairly simple. Run pipes to get it from point A to point B. There are time-tested ways of doing this. No need to re-invent the wheel on this one.
Got it. Check!
We’re done, right?
Notice I didn’t say anything about how much water we’re talking about nor how big the well is. So, let’s define that now. The well has a volumetric limit. The water, so far as you know, is limitless.
Uh oh, now what?
Another constraint: You can’t build another well (everything has a budget, right?!) and you can’t modify the current well. What do you do?
Well, you keep the piping in place so that the “new” water still runs to the well, but figure out how to move the water currently in the well somewhere else. Ok, Lee, that sounds great, but where do you put the water you’re taking out of the well?
One thing you could do is build holders. Whether they be pitchers, cups, whatever you can think of. Something to get the water out of the well. You can start to stack these objects up on dry land, and therefore, take (and keep) the water out of the well. Hence, the “new” water has a place to go.
But you’re probably recognizing something if you’re thinking ahead. This practice can’t go on forever. Water has to go somewhere, and sooner or later, you will run out of space. So, what happens? You have a spill. Water goes everywhere and things get bad.
Well, crap. What a terrible story, Lee. Why did you tell us about this?
Because that’s what happens when you have to wait to go to the bathroom in the middle of a long presentation. What is on your mind during that whole time?
That’s right…don’t spill!
As I was laying in bed the other night, I happened to look out the two full-length windows on the other side of the room. I’ve looked out these two windows for a little over a year now, but something was different on this night. There was a glow outside. I had no idea where the light was coming from, but it looked familiar. Reminiscent of something I have seen in the past.
And it struck me. It reminded me of was a directional light on the set of a movie or television show. The frame of the window was hiding the actual source of the light, casting an artificial glow to the background scenery outside the window. Like the two big windows were serving as the glass on a screen, with me on one side and some other world on the other.
Anyone remember the 1998 Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show? If you don’t, here’s the very, very quick synopsis from IMDB: An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a TV show. One of the things that happens to show Truman he is the star of a TV show is when a light falls from the perfectly blue “sky”. Hmm…like seeing some strange artificial glow outside your bedroom window?
As with most things that strike me, my mind started going in so many different directions. What if my life were being filmed? What if everyone was watching your every move? What if an entire population knew your secrets, your inner thoughts, your worries, your fears?
Or worse, what if all of this was not real? What if the experiences in your life might not have been genuine? What if the people in your life, the ones you loved and trusted, turned out to be actors? What would you do?
Would you change…you?
While there are certainly things I think the public might not want to see ( 😉 ), I don’t regret things in my life. I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made, the actions I’ve taken. I don’t regret the direction it has taken, either.
So, would I change anything?
Not the core of who I am. Not what makes me, well, me. I like who I am. I think others like who I am as well. I wouldn’t need to change me. I wouldn’t want to change me. Everything that is wrapped up in this package defines who I am. How I interact with the world around me. How I interact with the people in my life. Changing that would make me not…me.
Faced with Truman’s discovery and the circumstances derived from that discovery, it would be easy to not trust anything. To think everything was fake. Not real. And maybe nothing is real in that situation.
Except for one thing…I would be real. In my heart, in my soul, and in my mind. At my core.
And that’s what matters.