Said so often that the trappings of cliche have been attached, is march to the beat of a different drummer. While admittedly a hackneyed phrase, its meaning is vividly spoken; so well said that its becoming overused is understandable, as actually is the case with most cliches.
Henry David Thoreau’s exact words are:
If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.
The different people are found in every echelon, guild, and in every level of society; in every socioeconomic strata. Every discipline has a share of such people; such people as stagger our understanding. Amazed, we learn that Beethoven wrote his Ninth Symphony when he was totally deaf, and that Louis Braille, because he had been blinded by accident when he was three years old, and because he wanted to read so badly, invented the Braille system. In slave quarters at Diamond Grove, Mo. near the end of the Civil War, George Washington Carver was born. When but an infant, he and his mother were kidnapped by Confederate night raiders. But because of his inner vision and rare drive, he fought upward and became a renown agricultural chemist.
I have a thought that even among us who as a group are rather centered on having found the right way of life–perhaps smug in the knowing at times–there are you who have an elusive sense of distinctness, and who, as you sit with us on benches or stand by lecterns on Sundays, in some ways know you are foreigners. Perhaps you struggle to understand the different slant of your framing as the undeniable glints in your eye and the otherworldly sets your jaw. Try telling your vision to another and a blank face may be turned or a pat on the head, a knowing (though unknowing) smile, an indulging of your quirkiness.
Life entangles you. Work and family, a game in the street, a bite of cheese, gaiety, a quart of milk, but never is it gone, and on an instant is the faraway gaze, Explain? Impossible. You wander the street of your city, aloof, or the roads of the country. You clap your hands in worship, disconnected. You preach. You worship. You sing Happy Birthday, Jesus, and you say Happy New Year and blow whistles and squeeze shoulders, but you’re alone, not there, for it is but a motion, a time in transition, a passageway.
My plea to you on this first day of the year 2012 is that you be true to your vision, to your calling, to your gift. Though none may understand, though you may never understand yourself, I urge you to eye The Vision, to hear The Voice.
I have been writing this blog for several years now, and it astounds me that this site has been viewed more than one million times. I’m humbled and grateful for your interest.
In recent months, though, there have been substantially less visits here, and very little interaction–few comments. I’m thinking a couple of reasons account for this: First, I have been posting less here and more frequently on Facebook, often with a link to a post here. I like Facebook, quickly hear what my friends are doing some days, and have made connection with people I hadn’t heard from in years. That’s all nice, but there is a lack of depth to Facebook, and not frequently do persons engage in thoughtful and a bit deeper conversations. Also, when comments are made on Facebook about a blog post here, they feel “lost” to me. They are not posted with the article in question, and take lots of scrolling around to find them.
So, because I enjoy writing, and because I especially enjoy your interaction, I’ve decided to no longer routinely link my articles to Facebook, and am hoping to increase traffic here. I may pop over to your place with a link every now and then as an invitation to come visit me here. Remember that you can subscribe to this blog so that you will be notified when I make a new post.
I want to hear from you. Please comment when you have interest about something I’ve written.
Blessings always…and a wonderful new year!