It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. – C.S. Lewis
My Dear Daughter,
I want to begin this series of notes with one of the most important question you will ever be asked: What do you want?
I remember a short story I once edited as an English teacher. The story, written by a young female student, was all about a freshman girl who wanted more than anything to be invited to a party by a cute senior boy. I was so sure a redeeming moral would shine through on the last page, when the character would realize that there is more to life than high school parties and cute boys.
But nope. That part never came. The story ended with the cute boy finally noticing the main character and asking her to the big party. She went and had a wonderful time. The end.
I wrote a little comment at the bottom of the page: As a reader, I don’t care about your character because she’s driven by such a superficial desire. She wants too little.
See, a character is what he or she wants. To a large degree a person’s motivation = their identity. What you desire deep down fundamentally drives the decisions you make, the ideas you value, and the things you pursue. What you desire is what you become.
You are what you want. So what’s underneath the things you do and say? What’s your motivation?
I so look forward to having this conversation with you someday when you’re old enough to wrestle with your own heart. I will give you a piece of paper and a pencil, and time to think. And when you’ve written down just what it is that you really want, I’ll ask you one more question:
Is it enough?