The Rambling One, or Where to Hang My Hope and Faith
I'm sitting here typing and rambling, and I'm feeling really confused. I'm a privileged white male living a pretty comfortable life. There's so much hate and fear and anxiety going around, in real life and on the made up world of the internet. This world is crazy, and I'm comfortable. I can't wrap my head around that fact. It feels wrong that i get to live the life I do, with the people I love when so much of the rest of humanity doesn't have those same options.
Life feels pretty dang magical to me, and that's a hard concept to grasp when there's stories of terrorism, war, death, human trafficking, disease, attacks on people who love others of the same sex, shooting after shooting after shooting after shooting. Is it possible to see life as magic and live one full of love and compassion and empathy in the face of all this negativity? Should I feel bad about the life I have when others don't have the same opportunities as I do? What more can I do to ease other's suffering?
Because I'm so grateful for this life. I have the ability to dream big, and to work really hard to achieve those dreams. And being grateful for the journey along the way just seems like the right way to feel. There are so many magical moments in my life...it's confusing to me, to let the fear in. I can't hide and run from all this negative crap in the world. I must love, and love big. I cannot let fear keep me from loving.
Yet, is love enough? Is it enough to love my wife well? Is it enough to give my kids a life where they're comfortable in who they are...one where they know they matter and are well loved...a life of adventure and exploring...and talks of how all of humanity is connected? Is it enough to be there for others when they need me, to love the people I cross paths with really really well? Is that enough?
I let things that don't really matter disrupt my life. I don't always eat healthy, then I beat myself up for it. I stay up too late and sometimes watch too much tv, knowing I'd be better off making art or sleeping or having a real conversation with my wife. I focus on things that don't work out in my favor and then hold onto them the rest of the day instead of just letting them go. I skip workouts and meditations then beat myself up for that, too. I complain when our internet goes out or I have to stop and put air in the tires of our car while it's raining. First world problems, every single one.
How is it fair that I deal with these so-called 'problems' that aren't really problems and so much of the world doesn't have access to clean water, a safe sleeping space, where their next meal will come from, a bed. It's not fair. It's not. And I don't know what to do about it.
I don't want to let fear keep me from being happy. I can't let this fear keep me from living a life of meaning, because that's not right either. I was listening to a podcast the other day with Dallas Clayton on it, and he said something to the effect of, "Try not to be a jerk. Try to do what you believe in. Try to be honest in what you make and hope it will benefit other people." That seems like a good life philosophy. But, knowing about all the suffering out there...is that even enough?
I just don't know. I just don't know. I don't know what one privileged white male can do except love.
The fact is, we're all going to die at some point. And yet, I wake up every day acting like that's not going to happen. Life is finite. There are so many suffering. Yet, I'm not. It's not fair.
Maybe the solution is banding together and just loving who we can where we are. Really truly being compassionate and respectful and just loving one another really really well. Would that be enough? Is there enough lovers out there that we could stand together and actually make a difference? I have to hang my hope and faith on something...otherwise what's the freakin' point of even getting out of bed?
I must celebrate the good things. I must continue to do my best to love others. I must catch more sunsets, share more laughter, tell more jokes, give more hugs, gaze at more stars, make more happy art. I must keep doing my best to live the best life I possibly can, and hope that others care enough to do the same. I have to hang my hope and faith on more love.
It always comes back to love.
Just love. Just love. Just love.
Let's hope that's enough...