I believe in motor oil. With its rich caramel color, and friction reducing properties, and its uncanny ability to stain everything.
I believe that just like an engine needs good motor oil to run properly we need a good lubricant to help us pull ourselves through life.
Like when I’m going through a hard time I need a nice pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia to pull myself out of my predicament. Or when I feel the need to skip school due to my incurable “cough” I recall those who are less fortunate and do not have the same opportunities for free public education as I do.
People will find their lubricants in the most unlikely of all places though. Hobbies, foods, sports, and numerous other things, but though their lubricants may vary, everyone has one, in one form or another.
And just as oil leaves those eternally lasting stains on your driveway, life’s personal lubricant leaves an eternally lasting stain on you and your character. Never to be rinsed away, never to be worn away, never to be for gotten.
As a boy the scene of my dad changing the oil in the car never fascinated me. Never sparked my interest. And just the same I never felt the need to do well in school.
Then I turned 15 and discovered the wonders internal combustion. Pistons and cams. Valves and injectors. I also discovered the funds for my entertainment… money. And the only way at 15 to replenish my oil supply was by doing well in school.
But gradually you run long and old, and that basic 10-30 just won’t cut it anymore. Time for some high mileage motor oil. The motivation to get through life no longer works properly. Perhaps a dependent, a spouse, or a child will provide the new synthetic to plow through life.
Yes our required will power to drive through life requires constant changing. Changing ambitions. Changing motivations. Changing mindsets.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.