When I was a kid there were two days I waited eagerly for: Christmas, when it was also my birthday, and I would receive presents and stuff, and Easter.
When I was a kid, Easter to me was silence. It seemed that way, as if the whole world was looking back on something. We were all contemplating a better world, but not with the same hope one holds on the first of January. It was something different, more primordial than that. It was not a promise we made to ourselves, but a promise someone else had made to us.
Of course, over time I lost most of this feeling. You grow up and you start dissecting everything you experience or see, and this almost always takes away a bit of that shine that accompanies the most profound of experiences.
This post is not about my own beliefs, but it’s more about the importance of believing in something, which is, sadly, a rare thing these days. We hardly believe in ourselves anymore, and most certainly we’ve become less and less capable of having faith.
This is not about religion, but about people. Because I believe that first of all, we owe it to ourselves to live our lives in such a way that our death brings no joy to the world (to paraphrase Steinbeck.) And then we owe it to others as well.
These days Easter brings to mind a word we rarely use anymore: sacrifice. It’s a word most of us dread, because we want it all, and we don’t want to pay the bill. We want everything, and we want it now, and we don’t have the patience to wait, let alone sacrifice ourselves for it. Because this is the only meaning of the word that has survived: having to give something up in order to gain something else.
Sacrificing for others, in big or small ways… the importance of that, of living for others, without asking (or hoping) for a reward, that’s something that holds little to no value for the realist, who sees good people doing bad things to other good people, and wants nothing more than to survive.
These days, we think too much, and we’ve almost forgotten to feel. We care less, we want more, and we think we don’t have enough. We don’t want to wait, and we’ve been told that there’s only one way to go: up. We don’t stop, and we don’t look back, because we’re afraid we’ll get stuck in the past.
We’ve successfully managed to lock our skeletons in closets, and we don’t ever want them to come out.
On the first of January we look toward the future, and we hope and expect more. We make plans, and we promise to change our ways. Maybe there should be a day when we look back, and we try to see past the things we want to forget and catch a glimpse of what’s best in us, that part that’s always there, that doesn’t even have to be invented.
I figured out some time ago that becoming the person you want to be is all about figuring out where you lost that person. Dreams never die. They just get locked up inside the most hidden drawers of our souls.