(Set in the supermarket, Michael and John are two friends who are both independently shopping and meet each other in the freezer section.)
Michael: (surprised) Oh, G'day John, how are going?
John: (pleasantly surprised) Michael! Yeah not bad, yourself?
Michael: (laid back) Yeah, goin' alright. How's the family?
John: Yeah pretty good, been busy but alright...
Would you consider the above text to be a script from a play or the scripted conversation we follow in our everyday lives? This is a question that over the past months I have been thinking about, and what it means for me in all areas of my life - physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. And this being my first article, I'd love to share some of these reflections with you.
First of all, let me clarify what I'm talking about here. Google defines a script as: '...The written text of a play, film, or broadcast...' or as '... an automated series of instructions carried out in a specific order...' (Google, 2015) However, what I've been learning more and more is that we can live our lives simply reading 'a script' as such. Unwittingly following 'an automated series of instructions': accepting texts given to us from someone else, mechanically delivering the lines, and acting the part.
Many of the smaller scripts we might notice and follow even though we know they are quite meaningless. An example would be the conversation between Michael and John at the start of the article. When we greet people in typical Aussie, it's often a 'hi', 'hello' or 'g'day' followed by asking how the other person is going, and replying that you are going well.
This script is followed time and time again, even if you've had a bad day, been fired from your job or you're sick, it's uncanny how we seem to stick to this script.
Others scripts are more subtle
Others scripts are more subtle such as the role we play in our family. These scripts are often the most difficult to recognise because you've probably grown up with them.
These scripts can be made up of many different things such as parents and or family's expectations, peer pressure, social norms, cultural distinctives, spiritual rituals and tradition, pressure and ideals from those in authority and many of our fears etc. These different things often tell us or provide us with a way to behave, talk, think and be.
You might be 'the funny one', 'the one who always gets mad', the peacemaker, or the stirrer. Another example are those who we think of as 'the rock that holds it all together'. In this case those people tend to reassure people in difficult times, keeping things on an even keel and getting things done etc.
So having firstly defined what I mean by the 'scripts' in our lives, my second point is that the scripts we follow tend to fall into two categories. They can either control or have power over us, or, they can provide freedom and a framework for achievement.
Let me put it like this. Life is like driving a car through an unknown place. We might be the driver, but beside us is our navigator. We might know where we'd like to go, but we need a navigator to guide us. I'm suggesting the scripts we follow in life act as navigators. The trouble is, some navigators take over the whole show, determining your destination for you.
There are other navigators though, that will see us get to where we'd like to go, just being a helpful guide.
Navigators or scripts
Navigators or scripts can create or destroy, assist or overpower.
Being self-aware and realising what script you follow, is, I think, a key to true successes.
As a Christian, I would say Jesus is my navigator, helping to write my scripts. But how much of the time do I really listen to Him, and follow Him?
Do I conform to Jesus only in some situations, or do I allow myself be guided by him all the time: always judging who I am and where I am by his guidance, and consistently looking to him for my directions.
Good questions to ponder!
Michael Enderby is currently an Intern with SU Victoria in their schools program, while studying a Diploma of Youth Work with Praxis Victoria. He has a heart and a passion for walking alongside youth and helping them realise their potential. He resides in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Michael Enderby's personal blog is here http://www.scot262wh.wordpress.com
His previous articles are at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-enderby.html