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What is your greatest desire?
My Highest Aspirations
This is one of those tricky requests; philosophical yet inviting. I have so many desires that it is difficult to choose just one that stands out above all the rest.
For example, if we're talking politics, I could say that my greatest desire last November was for Barack Obama to defeat John McCain. Obviously I got my wish (along with a great many other Americans who voted for him as well.) Now, in the political sense, my greatest desire is to see the hope I feel in his presidency come to fruition. I want Barack Obama to go down in our nation's history as one of its greatest leaders not because he was the first black man Americans elected, but because he succeeded in pulling us out of the worst economy since the Great Depression.
On the other hand, I could say that on a personal level, my greatest desire today is to get some help for my son with special needs. He's having a really tough time now, and I hate to see him in such anguish and pain. And the most frustrating part of this desire is that I feel completely powerless to help him, and none of the so-called experts seem to have a clue.
In terms of relationships, I could say that my greatest desire is to grow old and gray with my wife, because some days I can't imagine life without her, and on other days it seems like forever is a long way off. Who knows what challenges will come before us? Our marriage has weathered many storms, and just when I thought all was lost, she surprised me and asked me to come home. I love my wife, and I love my children, so even though they were in Maine and I was in Florida at the time, I was just a plane trip away from returning to Maine in the dead of winter.
Professionally speaking, I have many desires. I would love nothing more than to find a publisher who is as excited about my novel Antiquity Calais: Standing at Armageddon as I am, and agree to take a chance on an untested writer who could be great, or could be a flop.
I also fervently want to return to school, earn a doctoral degree, so I can teach on a collegiate level and make the kind of money I always thought I was worth, but never quite reached in earlier stages of my career.
I want to be accepted into the training program for DeVry University online, so I can teach for them as well as the University of Phoenix online. This will get me to a point where I can feel as if my career is on track, after once having given it up for dead. It's been a long road, but as the saying goes, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. Today I feel stronger. Tomorrow I hope for more confidence yet.
Physically speaking, my greatest desire is to lose another 100 pounds, which is entirely plausible, as I have already lost 60 pounds since October. I only hope that the positive changes I have made in my diet can be maintained as we move forward.
In terms of my sports passion, I could say that my greatest desire is to see the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins win their respective titles in the same year. Right now the Celtics and Bruins are looking good, and the Red Sox and Patriots are looking like a challenge. Go figure.
If we're talking about philosophy, I could say that my greatest desire is for world peace to be finally realized in my lifetime. This seems the least likely of my aspirations to come true, and tragically it's probably also the one that could help the most people.
Some years ago, I decided that New Year's Resolutions were greatly overrated, and so I decided to have one generic resolution, and that is that I want to have a better year this year than I did last year. 2008 was definitely an improvement over 2007, that's for damned sure. And now, as I look at the opportunities before me, I can see great potential for 2009.
So in the end, I don't think I'll answer this request as the requestor perhaps wished. Instead, I'll sum it all up with a wonderful quotation by the prolific writer Louisa May Alcott.
"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, and try to follow where they lead."