There is something wrong with the world we live in, subtly wrong. People, people everywhere, are ignoring the important things because they are lazy or afraid. I wonder if this is why so many people are so vastly unhappy so much of the time. It would seem that if we were willing to expend a bit more effort and take a few more risks, we would all fare better. But the world, and a lot of the people in it, have convinced many of us that something dangerous or difficult should be avoided. Why? It’s not like there is anything better to do. I’ve been told for years that riding a motorcycle is perilous. Of course it is, but it is also an experience worth having and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. A lot of things are like that for me, most especially people, creativity and humor.
Still, protecting ourselves is human nature. Nobody wants to be killed, lose all of their money or have their heart broken. I would be a liar if I said I did not keep a lot of things to myself and withhold parts of myself in order to maintain some sovereignty. But we, I, all go too far sometimes. If you go far enough, you end up being that creepy shut in with the neighbors that whisper about how angry you seem and speculate on why your breath is always so bad. Angry hermits only work in kung-fu movies, because they always end up being some secret master from the past. In real life, they’d probably just get eaten by their cats after dying alone in their apartment- and that would be the most exciting thing that ever happens to them. There is no great reward for always playing it safe. The man that chooses the easiest and protected route is, without question, going to have the most bland and uneventful ride. Yet people do exactly that with work, friendship and love all of the time. It’s terrible and when I want to just tell people how they could have so much more if they were willing to stretch their arms a little, I stop myself.
I suppose this is because there is rarely anything profitable about being genuine. But the real embarrassment of it is, if you are being genuine, you probably couldn’t help it anyway. Earnestness is like a disease and humanity is some sort of tongue-in-cheek joke. Shirk any responsibility that you feel you may have to another person and you’ll fare better. But there is still that chance that you are going to regret it and hate yourself for it. I am sure there is some psychological reason for doing this, but I would have no idea of what it is. Not everything makes sense and not everything has to, I suppose. There is no sense in being a pessimist about this and give terrible advice like, “abandon people.”
Advice is odd. Someone once told me that you should never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved. That’s really good advice but, like most advice, I doubt if it is ever taken seriously by people. Maybe it’s not even supposed to be. Hopefully we can all just remember that we are each looking out from our own fleshy little prisons onto a world that is sometimes unfriendly.
Life is hard, and mine has been from time to time and I’ve loved it for that reason. I’ve wonderful stories of adventure, hurt, comedy and chaos. The same goes for the things I have done and the people I’ve allied myself with. Having something you reached for is far greater than something that just fell into your lap. It isn’t because it is better, it’s because you’ll value it more.