Today’s topic is: Aspiration. To aspire means to strive towards some higher state; but to aspirate means merely to breathe; that is, simply to allow the flow of air.
The connection is obvious: the higher one goes, the freer the air – at least, in our hopes. We hope that when we achieve that lofty station to which we aspire, that we shall breathe easier, that we will have leisure to cease from reactionary effort, to recline and survey our surroundings for a great distance all around.
The illusion is that we can certainly achieve this state of luxurious breathe-easiness by hard-breathing effort. The reality is that we may never become what we aspire to; but the identical result is much nearer at hand: while we aspire, we aspirate, and thus take the elevator rather than the stairs. Do not aspire to improve so that, victorious, you may breathe easy: but, breathe easy, that you may be victorious.
“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”
— Henri Bergson (1859-1941)