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Emperor Commodus

Opportunity; A Commodian Wit

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You can spin any concept to play an integral role in life, but for this round I'll spin one that's always fascinated me; opportunity. My relationship with it is strained. I am the grandmaster of blithely meandering through life, seeking things, reaching shortsightedly and falling on my face, wondering how I even manage to live while poorly considering how many people in the world likely do similar. I like to think my particular strength is recursive thinking; it's hard to abandon previous thoughts, at most I tend to remix them into something else. The woes of that can be another topic altogether. Point is, I see opportunity often. Often after the fact, and as a result I have an unfortunate habit of refusing opportunity in the future because I saw a failure in which I again failed to fully consider the circumstances.

Opportunity past is a poor thing to dwell on, but to be a touch cheesy, it is also an essential tool in considering the future. Mortal minds are too clever for their own good. We're quite capable of seeing opportunity, potential in virtually anything. Often to the point of decision overload, or on the flipside, dismissal because it is convenient to be ruthless in narrowing options down. With so many choices, one must have a mechanism so minds do not fail by fruitlessly considering the vast potential of existence. It leads us to quick assessments and categoric judgements, for it is not worth our time to go out of our way to assess the full spectrum of an alias you see. Many times this is correct, and many times it leads to assessments that fail to consider the variety in individual perception. You had the opportunity to know someone and enrich your experience by deriving more from them and their perspective, but in assuming you knew enough you lose unbridled potential. On the other hand, extend this courtesy too often and you'll never even see the opportunities that matter, the opportunities that push you forwards and operate from a still summarized, but well founded perspective of the given bigger picture.

What opportunities that matter, well, that is a very individual question. I would say many opportunities should be spurned for careful selection of those that lead to even broader potential. Not just yourself, but the myriad of lives you influence by virtue of title, position, things you took an opportunity to get early on, assuming you had them. Or had them easily. But what matters to you and how to operate in this regard can only come from the development of a virtue, the running term for something I recognize I may be using too broadly. For now, it should be clear that even in situations you are told you have no choice, there is either an opportunity to do something divergent or the opportunity to create yet another opportunity. Word soup to be sure, but I pray you see the concept it tries to embody. My failings have largely been from a cycle of seeing a certain opportunity set, going from them, realizing there is a bigger picture to be had and blanking the slate so I may pursue that one. The pursuit of optimal opportunity was destructive, nigh fatal to many aspects of my reputation here - particularly as many of them were squandered by a choir of many factors. Which isn't to say I wasn't instrumental in making them come together. After all, opportunity exists only because things are laid out as they are, subject to how well you perceive them and take advantage of them in pursuit of the infinite more. There is no answer, not if you take the opportunity to look farther. Where to draw the line again depends on the formation of a working self, a virtue to guide even if it promises you no particular end. Or take up faith, which answers a great many of these founding thoughts.

Too clever to take the easy answer, not clever enough to see past that and proceed. Regardless of where you stand, there is always the opportunity to take it further. You're far too smart to let the mental barriers constrain you. On the other hand, we've evolved very well to build the walls high...
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  1. King Athelstan's Avatar
    Opportunity is a fickle thing that often ties too heavily into choice and free will - do you want to seize the opportunity? If so, is it an active choice you want to make, regardless of consequences?