"To live with sincerity in our culture of cynicism is a difficult dance — one that comes easily only to the very young and the very old. The rest of us are left to tussle with two polarizing forces ripping the psyche asunder by beckoning to it from opposite directions — critical thinking and hope.
"Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté." Maria PopovaSome days I feel like everything is wrong in the world. I'm angry and confused and feel out of step because I see how good we could be. My hope is that maybe we're right there, at the cusp, and tomorrow we'll figure it all out.
But then I wonder why I use the word "we".
“Our charge is not to ‘save the world,’ after all; it is to live in it, flawed and fierce, loving and humble.” Courtney MartinThere's beauty in this place. But through time and painful lessons I've learned that I can't trust my judgment of beauty, that what I see isn't always real, no matter how real it was to me while I saw it.
I assume that what I see is the truth--and that my truth is truer than others' truths. My base reaction is too seldom, "What if I'm wrong?" or "What do I not see?" Then I speak to lead others to my truth.
"I can see what they couldn't see but not what I couldn't see." Arlie HochschildI carry an ever-growing fear of not knowing what I'm wrong about — not a fear of failure, or even being wrong, but a fear of the truth standing right in front of me and my not being able to see it.
"The truth knocks on the door and you say, 'Go away, I'm looking for the truth,' and so it goes away. Puzzling.” Robert PirsigHow much of my life was painted by my expectations of it? How much of my expectations were false? Where did they even come from? What would life have been like if I instead saw and accepted things for what they were instead of what I expected or wanted them to be?
Most of my heroes don't think that they're heroes, and that's often one of their most heroic qualities. They've deeply moved me, showed me things about the world I didn't see, but once seen, couldn't be unseen. They've shaped me by there mere existence, showed me blindness with their sight, empowered my uncertainty.
And somehow all the big questions in life come down to this:
Is this enough? Am I enough?
I fear that I'm selfishly hoarding any power I've been given or accumulated, and aren't doing enough to empower others, especially those with the most potential: children, all of them. And then I become self-conscious of the thought that I have accumulated any power at all--have I? I've been wrong before. I'm currently sitting in the middle of piles of conversations where I believe one thing and "they" believe something else and we both think we're right, when in reality one or both of us are wrong.
And then I realize that everything I want to tell my daughter and loved ones are really things I want to hear or feel myself.
How strange a notion to acknowledge that I am less important than those I hold power over, their cost of being right with no power, and in turn my own.
It's as if right doesn't exist.
And maybe it doesn't.