Blue Like Jazz Chapter 6 – Redemption: The Sexy Carrots
In my final day working at my internship at the homeless shelter, I found myself having to put together the discussion for our older women’s discussion group that was meeting that day. Yes, it was last minute, but that was because the new intern that was supposed to be taking over the group that day, while myself and my partner intern sat in for our final group session to listen, happened to be out because of a sick child, so I volunteered to run the discussion.
Having just completed this book, I wanted to share some of Mr. Miller’s brilliance with this group of wise women I had had the pleasure of working with for several months at that point. So, I quickly typed up some quotes out of the book that I really enjoyed and printed out copies to give out to the ladies for us to discuss.
When I got to the group, I introduced the book and told a little about it, and then I chose to start the discussion off with this chapter—chapter 6. I wanted to introduce the ladies to Mr. Miller’s style with one of the two comic stripes he has throughout the book, this stripe in the sixth chapter being my favorite of the two!
As I read the comic to the group, as an elementary school teacher might read so dramatically to her students, I found the ladies listening intently and I could see they were wondering what I was getting them into, as each page turned—one after another. Of course, for those of you who have read this book before, and recall this comic as the one where Don Rabbit chases Sexy Carrot, you will probably remember how the only part of the story that really carries any interest to an inquiring mind would be the last few lines on the last couple pages. And yes, as you read along through the earlier part of the comic you are bound to laugh at one point or another, whether you are laughing out of genuine humor or out of the idea of “why in the world would this grow-adult man tell a story like this in his book” I’m not sure, but nonetheless, the ladies in the group tended to laugh some too as I read along. However, as it was for me, it was those last two pages; those last two comic pictures with captions that sold Miller’s style and intellect on the ladies!
If you work hard, stay focused, and never give up, you will eventually get what you want in life.
Sometimes the things we want most in life are the things that will kill us.
Yep. Those were the morals to the story (or comic in this case), and my how they make you want to act and make you want to think at the same time.
We all have something in our life that we are striving for; whether it is greatness, or sufficiency, or simply being content, whatever the case, we realize that the goal can only be met with motivation and willingness to press-on.
Believe it or not, many times for me that is, I can handle the “work hard” and the “stay focused” and even the “never give up,” but it is the “eventually” that can cause me to get discouraged. And I would be willing to bet that that is the case for a many of you reading as well. It is the wait; the patience; the time it can take for us to meet some of our goals that can discourage us the most.
I think the “eventually” is tied to motivation and value. I think how motivated you are to get something “you want in life,” or how much you value that think “you want in life,” THAT is what will determine how long that “eventually” can stand to be before you are unwilling to “work hard, stay focused, and never give up.”
Sometimes we are really motivated to get something we want because we have placed such a value on it in our life—that is powerful! It is those things in life, the ones we are so motivated to achieve, that can carry us through life day-by-day!
But what is scary is the thought that it could be that exact thing, that thing we are so stuck on wanting that will turn out to “kill us” when “eventually” actually does get here.
Why is it that some of the things that we feel we want so badly turn out to be so “deadly,” whether figuratively or literally? Is it that we are not wise enough in the first place to see it coming? Is it that we refuse to see it? Is it that we can not possibly see it until it has arrived?
I don’t know, but whatever the reason, sometimes that is how it turns out.
I am choosing not to give any examples of this because I believe it can apply to so many people in so many different ways, in reference to so many different parts of their lives. With that being the case, think about it and wonder whether what you are wanting so much in life, whether it might end up killing you in the long run, possibly literally, but more likely, figuratively.
Tony the Beat Poet read me this ancient scripture recently that talked about loving either darkness or loving light, and how hard it is to love light and how easy it is to love darkness. I think that is true. Ultimately, we do what we love to do. I like to think that I do things for the right reasons, but I don’t, I do things because I do or don’t love doing them.
I don’t know whether I believe that deep down we either love the darkness or love the light, because I think that goes back to the discussion I had from a couple chapters ago in this book about whether I believe we are born “good” or “bad” people. But I do think the ending part has some interest to me because I feel that is similar to my belief that we are all such selfish creatures.
I have a belief that I can interpret almost any action as having a self-pleasing piece to it or a self-pleasing motivation for it. With that being the case, I can relate to Miller’s comment that “I do things because I do or don’t love doing them.”
But I suppose, if my belief/theory is correct—that everyone behaves in manners that are pleasing for their own sake, then wouldn’t that make “right reasons” and “wrong reasons” irrelevant in these cases? If EVERYONE is behaving in that manner, is their a “wrong” reason left to be? Or is it that there is no “right” reason left to be? Because to have one, don’t you have to have another?
Okay, either that just got WAY too deep, or I have made absolutely NO sense in what I was just trying to say. Whichever it is, I don’t know, but I do know that I can relate to the thought of doing things because I either love or don’t love doing them.
[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz”]