Always Follow Your Nose

Time turns the why behind our actions from a moment of insight into a story we tell ourselves. In such times, it's best to follow your nose.

We are never complete. The human condition is to forever become, according to Hannah Arendt. In other words, to change is to be human. To change is to be in a crisis, from the Greek krisis, the point at which change must come, for better or worse. It marks a vital, decisive moment.

There are many of those moments in my life. I often forget about them when I think I know what I am doing and why I am doing it. Time turns the why behind my actions from a moment of deep insight into a story I tell myself. While I am too busy staying on course without questioning my motivation, my why loses its value.

Then a crisis comes along, internal or external, and I again question my why, to discover I am no longer able to validate it. The intrinsic value behind my actions was lost somewhere along the road. All that remains is a story, something I tell myself, because it was what I wanted, right?

I am at a fork in the road. No signposts this time. I decide it’s best to pause for a while for a moment and lie down in the grass. I laugh and think of the best piece of advice in times like these. “If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose.” Thus spoke Gandalf the Grey, the great wizard of times past.

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