In an era of fucked up shit, this week has been one of the fuckiest.
I want you to know — I NEED you to know — that there’s a human being here, typing this, who loves you as a fellow human being. I may not come to your house and have dinner and play Super Mario Maker, but I love you, as a living, breathing, feeling entity.
Even if we disagree, politically or morally, I still love you. I love you enough to be angry at you, which is a lot. I love you enough to want better for your heart and mind than to be covered in the thick tar of hate and anguish; so deprived of the real oxygen of human empathy that the sparse breath you can muster is used to shout vitriol and nastiness. I love you enough to fight you — to fight FOR you — to make you see this world has beauty, and that beauty is other people.
We all have it in us. I know you feel it. I know you feel pain and anger and anguish when you see the nasty way the soulless treat their fellow person. I know you feel as helpless as I do as the world seems to be crumbling all around us and the least fortunate of us are used as political seeds to grow poisonous crops to be harvested by the corrupt, the liars, the malfeasant…
We – you, and I, and that person you work with, and the people you go to church with, and neighbors and friends and the stranger at the grocery store — we make this country. There are but a handful of them, bending us to their will through increasingly sophisticated means… social media, manufactured controversy, spin, lies, nonsense… and we consume this over and over, day by day, bit by bit, largely because we are bored and addicted to the thrill of the ride – regardless of what car we sit in on the roller coaster.
Do yourself a big favor: this weekend, at the grocery store, buy a gift card and leave it with the clerk for someone who can’t afford their whole grocery bill. Drop a $5 near the lotto ticket machine. Leave coins in the little turnstile toy dispensers for a kid to find. Hold the door for the next person. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Anything that helps a stranger.
Don’t do this to tick a karmic box and earn some favor in the future; don’t do it to repay a karmic debt. Do it for no other reason than to see what it feels like to give to someone you may never get to meet. Did they desperately need it, or did someone just get a free few bucks? Did it save them from starvation or financial ruin, or did they just shrug and whistle a waltz? What does it matter?
Give to someone — anyone — because it feels good to pull love from your own heart and toss it freely into the world, without any kind of receipt.
If we all do that — not just with money but with any kind of kindness — it stands to reason that the rising tide will raise all our ships.
But even if it doesn’t — even if only a few people do it and it seems like tossing coins into a well never to return — that wasn’t the point. The point is that for a moment, for just that instant, you felt something beyond yourself, without expectation of return. You gave. You helped. You made a change inside yourself that can never ever be removed or taken away. You will forever know the joy of being free with your love.
Be the good you wish to see in the world. And ask the same from those you know. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m asking you to help change the fuckery we see every single hour of every single day, not by pushing the planet off its axis but by the simplest, most in-your-control way possible.
And don’t ask for a receipt. Not from someone you helped and not from the universe at large. Just give. Give love, give time, give unity, give hope, give strength — Because you can.
I’m not gonna say it’s gonna get better, because I have no idea if it will. I won’t lie to you — it’s a scary time. But I will say I’m not going to sit idly by and just let it be scary. The darkness needs but one candle to be lit to be pierced through to its very soul… and one candle can light another, and another, and another…
Light a candle, my friends. Light YOUR candle. And let no one snuff it out.