Category: Prose

Turn the Other Cheek

Turn the Other Cheek

Pain makes us not our best selves. When they hurt us with their hands or with their mouths, we want to strike back. Fight fire with fire, help them reap what they sew, restore balance to the world. It is understandable. It is part of our nature. But we can be better.

The hate that we give is a reflection of what they gave to us. It’s what they want. It is what allows them to see us as less than human. Whether they can’t see the humanity inside others or they can’t see it inside themselves, we are just confirming their suspicion.

So transform the hate into humanity, darkness into light. When they give you hate, give them love. Because when they look into the mirror, we want them to see the human being inside of us and remember that no matter how deep it is buried, there is a human inside of them.

 

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Thoughts on Hate

Thoughts on Hate

They say that anger is what pain and fear look like when they show themselves in public. An animal threatened, lashing out to intimidate and diffuse the threat. A preemptive strike. Protecting self, covering insecurities that whisper “they will win, we will lose.” Coming from a mindset of scarcity. This country belongs to me and the people like me. But I believe that all people are like me. I believe that when we broaden the sphere of community, we become stronger, we gain talents and allies we could not previously imagine. I believe that when I help you rise, I don’t sink. Instead, we can both reach new heights we couldn’t achieve alone.

 

It’s easy now to hate. Whether you are hiding behind a computer screen, a campaign podium, or your identity- religion, nationality, gender- it’s all too easy to forget that the other person is a human being. It’s easy when you don’t have to see the frown lines etched onto the human face, the tears pouring down cheeks from downcast eyes that see just like yours. When you don’t have to see the widow shrieking in grief, and struggling to provide for her children for years to come. When you don’t have to see the child struggling to breathe, bleeding in the street. But just because your head is buried beneath grains of sand, just because you squeeze your eyes shut, willing yourself not to see, doesn’t mean the world disappears, doesn’t change the truth. We all share the same DNA, the same earth. We all have eyes, if they are a different shape. We all have skin, if it is a different color. We all think, if we have different ideas. We all love those we feel are close to us. We are all cousins, we are all humans. It’s time we start acting like it.

Gods

Gods

I guess the difference is that we used to worship gods that created us. Our Father. Our mothers, aunts, and uncles. Sometimes disappointed (rightfully so.) Sometimes capricious, sometimes wrathful, sometimes proud. Not always good parents, sometimes absent, sometimes selfish. But parents. Parents who created us and felt responsible for us. Parents who maybe sometimes hated us but always loved us.

Now we have grown up and forgotten them. We need them not, we stand on our own two feet. We have conquered chance and the earth. If not individually, as a species. In our joy and creativity, we have spawned a new generation of Gods.

Money. Power. Status. We worship them, our children. We love them. But what do they feel for us? They are our life, they are our world. But the love of a child is qualitatively different than the love of a parent. There are conditions. There is more focus on self and less on the needs, the welfare of the parent. Was it a mistake?

What have we sacrificed to them? What have they done for us?

 

Live

Live

 

Give friendship, give trust freely and without cause-

Make fast friends, slow enemies.

If others hurt you, take advantage of you, persevere:

Succeed even when they stack all odds against you.

Forgive others who harm you, but remember to protect yourself in the future.

Keep your expectations low and be prepared to do it all yourself

Let kindness from others amaze you as the wonderful gift it is.

Help others, go above an beyond expectations

Not with any expectation of benefit, but because you want to.

Take joy in raising others up and raise yourself up even when others push you down.

Realize that this is your own personal truth, not the same as anyone else’s

Not better, not worse,

And that the only universal wrong is the intentional harm of others.

Live this life. You may not always be happy. You may not always succeed.

But I truly hope that you will always find peace.

 

Beliefs

Beliefs

I believe in passion and determination above talent.
I believe in effort above absolute success.
I believe in health above aesthetics, above weight.
I believe in meaning above happiness, above comfort.
I believe in experience above material goods.
I believe in collaboration above adversarial competition.
I believe in the value an action provides others above what advantage it lends me.
Above all these things, above wealth, above power,
I believe in love.

Keep moving.

Slow your mind but keep your eyes wide open: put away all thoughts of the world. Do not think about time, immerse yourself in it, bathe yourself in it. Focus on your breath, deep inside, as it bursts forth through your mouth, smoke rising. The regular tempo of your stride as you hurtle forward, propelled by sheer will. The chill that tries to grab you, stab you with every step, the fire of your muscles as they work ever harder. The beating of your heart as you move onward, relentlessly pursuing your goals. Take in the street lights as the city falls away behind you, glowing amber in the dark of night, reflecting off the river’s calm surface, no one outside but you. Feel the spring of your muscles, the contact of your feet as you hit the ground. Lose yourself on the road, and find your soul. Keep moving.

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How are you?

What I really mean is:
What’s good? What’s bad? What has your blood pumping, what has your blood boiling? What is thrilling you, what is killing you, what terrifies you and what has changed your life? What fills your heart with despair and what floods you with hope for the future? What moves you? What inspires you, what sets your soul on fire? Because if I care
about you, there is no over sharing. But I can’t say that. I can only say: how are you? And hope that you are more open than I.