Long ago I got one of those promotions for my local gym which came with two free hours of training.  I was a bit overweight at the time and was interested in exploring my options but had never worked out in a gym before.  The helpful front desk person signed me up for my two free hours and took me to a sour looking personal trainer.  She took me on a tour of the facilities and then sat me down in her office.  She then gave a big sigh, looked at me in the eyes and said in a bitter voice, “Do you actually want to do this?  Are you going to follow through our try at all?”  I was put off and angered by her attitude and said something, then got out of there and didn’t go back.

I’ve worked with good trainers since then, lost weight, gotten fit, and learned a bunch about human nature since then.  When  I was ready to do the work, get over my fear of failure, and trust that there would actually be results if I didn’t sabotage myself, ‘presto’ the process worked.  My trainers were gratified and I was elated.  Job well done on all sides.  And looking back at that first trainer, I can empathize a bit.  Although I think she needed to find something else to do because she wasn’t happy or effective in her job, I’m sure hours and days of dealing with tourists in her world had a lot to do with how she got there. It must just wear you down to go through the motions day after day knowing that nothing is going to come of them when it so easily could.  Only Charlie Brown is able to withstand that kind of life for any amount of time and even he gets fed up sometimes.

I recognize that attitude a bit in myself.  I am lucky enough to have a wonderful spiritual community around me and to be connected to the larger spiritual community at large and I work with the public so I’m in contact with a multitude of people interested in what I love and what I do and giving me insight into everything else that is going on out there.  With that said, it also means that I’ve seen a bit and done a bit and I’ve come down with a bit of the personal trainer’s skepticism about things.  It’s really common for some new something, method, ideology, way of living, object, to be the newest ‘thing’ and to ,really, really work,.  And what I find is that instead of being impressed I say, “so what?”  And that takes people aback.  “But it’s really miraculous and it really works.”  To which I say “Uh huh.  So what?”

Because here’s the thing.  Just like in that first gym, the issue isn’t that the process works.  We all know that it does.  The trainer was frustrated and bitter because she was certain I wouldn’t use it.  And at the time she was absolutely right.  So what if it works?  If I don’t use it, it doesn’t matter.  So when it comes to the spiritual, I use the “so what” test.  So what if this elixir is the cure for cancer.  Is there any more?  Are we all buying it and taking it into hospitals to use on our relatives?  Are we making sure that more gets made and that everyone know about it?  No?  Then so what?  Does this gadget remove all toxins from the air city wide?  Great.  Are we getting enough money together to get one for our city?  Are we getting the permits together to get it installed?  Are we working to get tests done to see if its working here?  No?  Then so what?

Here’s the thing.  If we aren’t using it, if we aren’t going to take action on it, if we’re not doing anything about it, then so what?  It’s like gossiping about what happened on TV last night. Fun but not very relevant to anything.  What I want to know is what are you doing besides watching TV.  Who did you meet, what is changing your life right now, how are you living in this amazing and complex world and making it better for yourself and at least one other person.  That’s what survives the So What Test.  So I’d better get back to it.  There’s a lot of living to do.