“Maybe life doesn’t get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find: small wonders, where they grow.”
― Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder
“i love myself.’
― Nayyirah Waheed
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This is a really great article and an essential read. “But if you live for external achievement, years pass and the deepest parts of you go unexplored and unstructured. You lack a moral vocabulary. It is easy to slip into a self-satisfied moral mediocrity. You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be O.K. But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.”
With my dear friend, Mikko Puttonen.
Later that night, when we were alone, Eustace told me how heartbroken he gets whenever he spends time around modern American teenagers. Yes, he can communicate with them, but people never understand that it rips him up inside to see how ignorant the kids are, how undisciplined in their personal interactions and how disrespectful of their elders, how consumed they are by material desire and how helplessly incompetent in a way that you would never see with, say, Amish children.
But I wasn’t listening carefully to Eustace’s lament, because I had another question on my mind. “Hey, about what happened there tonight. Do you get that kind of response everywhere you speak?”
“From all age groups; from all backgrounds?”
I thought this over. “So tell me specifically. Why do you think these particular teenagers were so hypnotized by you tonight?”
Eustace’s reply was so immediate, so uncompromising, and so coldly delivered that it sent a quick little chill right through me.
“Because,” he said, “they recognized right away that I was a real person. And they’ve probably never met one before.”
In this world we have built where everything is bigger – better – bolder, we have lost our way. We place importance in the wrong things and with misguided people. We have misgivings about being kind and open when these are actually the things that make us the bravest. It is our honesty and vulnerability that makes us strong, not fragile. Because these are the most painful parts of ourselves and it takes courage to show them.