"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 PopovaMost days, I feel completely out of step with the world. I see how good we could be, and I know where we were, but I'm still angry and confused about how we are. My hope is that we're right there at the cusp, and that tomorrow we'll wake up figure this 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 I've learned that I can't completely trust my judgment of beauty, that what I see isn't always real, no matter how real it seemed to me while I saw it.
I assume that what I see is 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 failing, 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 many of my expectations were wrong? Where did they even come from? What would everything have been like if I instead saw and accepted things for what they were, instead of what I wanted them to be?
Most of my heroes didn't think they were heroes, and that alone was often one of their most heroic qualities. They're lost themselves, searching for their somethings. They showed me things about the world I didn't see, but once seen, can't be unseen. They shaped me by their mere existence. Their uncertainty empowers 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 have, that I'm not doing enough to empower others. Then I'm self-conscious of the thought that I have actually accumulated any power at all — have I?
Then I realize that everything I most want to tell my daughter and loved ones are really the things I want to hear or feel myself.
It's a strange notion, to acknowledge the cost of being right with no power, and to realize that everything I say is not just for myself, but to myself.
It's as if right doesn't exist.
And maybe it doesn't.