Do not mourn naiveté; what you would wish unknown would change everything you are, would make you less than you will be. Though not easy, pull each sharp truth to your chest and let it cut, hold each until the feeling fades, until it’s just another aspect of your glow.
Jack Layton passed away, and I find myself hurt by his absence – or hurting. I never met him, did not know him, and yet he impacted me. I don’t know that I would have realized this had I not his loss to feel now. Without our symbols of hope, what have we? When we look at ourselves and find we lack the passion, guidance, or investment required, what will we do? How did we depend so much on one when we ourselves are so many?
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
Those words spin in my mind, a fly caught on a spiral of paper.
One may plan every detail imaginable, yet those plans may not reach fruition, no matter how painstakingly you have outlined your goals. You may plan nothing, hope to attain your dreams by luck, and come to the same end. What difference, then, lies between these two? Surely the former offers a better experience, less stress, more fulfillment?
I have no wish to wrap you in cotton and keep you from the world. I want you to experience life’s harm because I know I would be doing you more ill by hiding you from it. Instead, I will offer to comfort you when you face that pain and lend you my strength when you are not able to stand on your own. I will not make your decisions for you, and I will not to judge you for the ones you make.
Today IKEA released a smart bit of advertising: page markers in the style of post-its with words like “kitchen love,” “bedroom want,” “living room need.” What is a need? To me a book may be the very item that gives my breath lightness. To you a book represents ten dollars poorly spent, a waste of time or energy. Not required. Not a need.
What right do I have to decide your necessities? How can we budget based on funds and not on people? Your funds are not based on need. What is need?
I spend my days reading legislation and determining if your situation warrants assistance. Are you truly out of options? Do you actually have this need?
Can you do better?