Monday, September 16, 2019

The Pilgrimage

"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 Popova
Most days, I feel completely out of step with the world. I see how good we could be, and am angry and confused with how we are. I hope we're right there at the cusp, that tomorrow we'll wake up figure this all out, but then I wonder why in all of these thoughts I use the word "we" and not "I".
“Our charge is not to ‘save the world,’ after all; it is to live in it, flawed and fierce, loving and humble.” Courtney Martin
There's beauty in this place, but through time I've learned that I can't completely trust my judgment of beauty. What I see isn't always real, no matter how real it seemed to me while I saw it.

We assume that what we see is truth — and that our truths are truer than others' truths. Then we speak to lead others to our truths.
"I can see what they couldn't see but not what I couldn't see." Arlie Hochschild  
I carry an ever-growing fear of not knowing what I'm wrong about — not a fear of failing, 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 Pirsig
How much of my life was painted by my expectations of it? How many of those expectations were wrong? Where did they even come from? What would everything have been like if I saw and accepted things for what they were, instead of painting them with what I wanted them to be?

Most of my heroes didn't think they were heroes, and that alone is a heroic quality. They're lost themselves, searching for something. I admire people that can show me truths I didn't see, but once seen, can't be unseen. Their mere existence shapes me. 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 the power that I have, and 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 most 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 to others, I'm also telling myself.

It's as if right doesn't exist.

And maybe it doesn't.

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