“It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.” – Ian McEwan
They say the biggest distance between two people is misunderstanding. It creates this gap between people. Or is it a wall? And it’s frustrating, isn’t it? It does make you feel as if you’re alone, the only one who thinks and says and acts in a certain way.
And by feeling so don’t we diminish others as well? Don’t we fail to understand that even though they are different, they’re still inherently the same as us? And they deserve to be treated the same way we’d like to be treated.
I don’t know, it’s a difficult question to answer.
But could you hate someone if you knew why they do what they do? If you could truly understand them? Their thoughts? Their feelings? Know their past? Their struggles? What they want? What they have lost?
That’s the thing, I’m afraid. It’s not that we are incapable o caring about others, it’s just that we rarely get to know them. To really know them. And thus we never get to understand them. And the wall is still there…
First we make choices. Then, those choices make us.
Seems obvious enough, right? And simple. Self-explanatory, straightforward. I could use a couple more words to prove the point.
But it’s not easy.
Different choices, different outcomes. You think too much, no matter what you decide, it still won’t feel like right. Not one hundred percent anyway.
But it’s truly simple.
You don’t like who you are? Change yourself.
You don’t like your job? Change it.
Your partner? Change it.
You don’t like what you see in the mirror? Change what you see. Continue reading
In boxing, it’s always the punch you don’t see coming that knocks you down. The punch you weren’t expecting, the punch you never thought would hit you. Life is just like that.
It’s the bizarre coincidences we never even dared take into consideration, with an even stranger ramification of consequences. And in the ensuing chaos, we no longer understand what’s going on, and we feel like drowning. Time becomes inconsistent: a second, a minute, an hour, a day… we can no longer tell what is what. Continue reading
Do you know that terrible cliche about life being stranger than fiction?
Why do we hate cliches so much anyways?
Maybe it’s because they tend to express an impossibly to deny truth. One that has to be remembered over and over again. Continue reading
One of my favorite quotes goes like this: “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
Ambrose Redmon wrote that.
Fear is an impulse, or like the tattoo on my arm says, “Fear is the mind killer.” Frank Herbert wrote that. So you can’t stop being afraid, but you can fight fear, you can control it.
I don’t think I ever told you how I became a writer. Or if I did, it was long ago. Continue reading
In 1938 aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”
You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.
Now, about selling your heart… Continue reading
A while ago I wrote a short story about a guitar player walking down a dirt road toward a crossroads late at night. It was a long, excruciatingly painful walk, because he was about to get the thing he wanted most in the world: the ability to play the instrument like no other human being.
Of, course, he had to pay a price.
I think that agonizingly long walk towards a tangible goal is part of the price he had to pay in order to reach that certain goal. Continue reading