The Bench Mark

Today I changed something about the way I blog, about the way I live. I’m marking it here with this post for future reference. Like a signpost. Like a dropped pin on a Google map.

The date matters because time is our most important gift, but time is slippery through our fingers and hard to pin down. We need to be reminded of its value and limited supply. So, on this date, in this place, a mark is made.

Surveyors call it a bench mark. It’s a beginning place. A starting point. A mark to show progress, should I make any. A fixed, documented reference that is set in stone and not to be moved.

Because Things Move

In this world, things that you can count on are rare. People are ripping up bench marks for sport. They do it with wild-eyed glee. As if they hate points of reference and things that stay the same.

They do it because they are on a mission to change the world and anything that does not change disturbs them. Makes them twitchy.

A bench mark implies that there was something here before them that was good and didn’t need changing. Or that they are not making progress at all. Or that they might even be wrong.

Each A Bench Mark

Today’s predictable idea is that we should be our own bench mark. We should make our own path and ignore the depth and breadth of human history. As if the problem with human history is only that we weren’t there to do it right.

I am the captain of my fate, the master of my soul. Accountable to no one.


We call this idea freedom and if that’s all there were to it things would sort themselves out soon enough. What worked would work. What didn’t would disappear.

But Soul Captains seem to want more. They want us to acknowledge the glorious discovery of their vast superiority. Their relentless rightness, brilliant better-ness, colossal correctness.

It seems that being right is not enough anymore, nor even being superior. One must change the world.

Enforced Correctness

Political correctness leads them to believe that they should be in charge. That all who came before or who stand here now are so wrong that they must be corrected.

Old ideas that don’t conform should be hammered into place. Individual thought should be chastised. Ideas are dangerous and must be policed.

I am to be freed from myself.

Human history is a pounding repetition of this dull theme. We are not good enough. We must be brought into alignment, hammered and straightened – or eliminated.

What should be a life of glorious exploration of the magnificence around us becomes mere existence in a chain gang by the side of life’s road. We are conformed.

Long live the sameness.

The Explorer’s Heart

But we were meant for more. We know it in our bones. We feel it when we see the stars or watch a bird in flight. We feel the tug from beyond the next hill to see what’s there.

And there is something there. It is glorious. And in pursuing it we will find that there is more to us than we imagined. There is sterner stuff within than we have been told.

We are stronger than we think. We have a higher purpose than conformity. The journey ahead will show us, reveal us to ourselves.

So, A Bench Mark

Here is the beginning point, our reference for the journey, the spot where we set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Here is where we are. Where we will be tomorrow is the most exciting question of all . . .