Of Life and Death

 

“It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.” — John Steinbeck

We are born soft. Not weak, but with a certain sweetness deep inside our souls. As kids, we feel invincible in our desire to discover the world, to conquer it, to become who we want to be.

Nothing seems impossible. Nothing is out of reach.

But then we grow up and most often than not, we grow weary of others. We try to be like them, we want them to like us, we want to be accepted…

The world throws a bunch of rules on us and expects us to comply. There are a lot of lies, a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of bullshit. There’s a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, a lot of things to get done. We get lost in the vastness of daily tasks instead of admiring the vastness of life.

We sacrifice so much of who we are for others that at a certain point it feels as if hell is, indeed, formed of other people.

They are the source of our unhappiness. The boss who doesn’t appreciate you, the people who don’t respect you, the parents who don’t understand you, those who didn’t love you back.

We are interconnected, there’s no denying it, but other people aren’t hell…we just think we need them.

We treat others the way you’d treat an object. We want them…we want them to do something for us, to offer us something. We expect them to save us from ourselves. To give us love and attention and admiration and…

And we suffer.

Yes. We suffer. We feel hopeless at times. Why can’t they see that we’ve sacrificed so much for them?

But the truth is that others don’t have to do anything for you.

So, is there any way out of this labyrinth of suffering?

Yes, but you might not like the answer.

Be better.

Be better than all those who failed to see your worth. Love them anyway. Help them anyway.

Not because you want a reward from it, but because you are that kind of person.

What you do for others ultimately determines your legacy. What lives on long after your bones have turned to dust.

Be better than them, because no one said you can’t be.

It might seem as an almost impossible task, especially if you’ve been hurt and disappointed in your life, but, trust me, it’s worth it.

When I first started writing…I dreamed of fame and glory and awards and money and all the other crazy stuff teenagers dream about. I wanted to be a kind of rock star of the written word.

But then, as years passed and no one read my stuff, I just wrote for one person. Just one… There’s not much fame or glory in that, right? And since I wasn’t getting paid, no money at all. But I saw that my words made that person smile. And think. And wonder about life and love and everything in between.

So I wrote even more.

I wasn’t expecting anything from it. And, believe me, my life was far from perfect. Twenty something, broke, lots of health issues. No friends…

I felt depressed. Alone. Angry sometimes.

But I was making one person smile.

We so often underestimate this, right? Making one person smile…

We want to conquer the world, to reach the top of the mountain, to write the greatest novel ever written, to touch people’s hearts.

What we fail to understand sometimes is that we reach the top of the mountain one step at a time, we write that novel just one word at a time, we touch people’s lives one smile at a time.

And this is how you conquer the world.

14 thoughts on “Of Life and Death

  1. I really liked this because I feel similarly. In my youth, I believed I was going to be a famous writer someday. I dreamed of it everyday. Now I realize that I am only writing into the wind, hoping that someone will hear and it will make a part of their day better for having read it. It is the end of your post that I would like to gently contend. I don’t think we do this to conquer the world. I think we should do it so we can continue to realize that we are a part of this world. Suffering and peace/ love and hate: these things move together always and they move through us as writers. It is our job to show that we are all connected to help bridge the gaps in the differences. I don’t know. Just something I was thinking about based on what you wrote. Either way, keep writing and I will keep reading.

    Like

  2. Ecclesiastes 8:9. All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm.

    Other people affect us so much. But in the same way one person can affect us so much too. Written words are such an art. I’m not a blogger or writer. But I appreciate it so much. :) this is from Gods written word. So many treasures to be found.

    Like

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I just posted about false desires that I had at first. I cannot lie – there is a dream to be published. A dream that I would have that one viral post. But that is not why I write anymore, either. I enjoy what I do. A digital journal and sharing in the open gives me a sense of acknowledgment or maybe affirmation… Like an act of courage to say: Here I am. Thanks for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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