What a word. I LIVE for it. Humanity has SO much possibility, it’s thrilling. I love to fantasize about possibilities. About the amazing things we could, as a species, accomplish. The art, the culture and languages. The cures, the pleasures, the sex, the undiscovered, the explorations into inner and outer worlds. I like to think about ‘what ifs’. Like ‘what if the Europeans decided to learn from the First Nations? And what if both ‘cultures’ (because there were countless distinct cultures within both of these worlds) added to each other instead of one basically wiping out the other? What could have been created?’
You know what I hate? I hate when people say ‘well, humanity has been conquering and colonizing and oppressing forever. It’s what we do. We beat each other up and take each other’s shit.’
Well maybe we have in the past but I am now calling bullshit. I am. We have never as a species, had the scope of view in terms of linear and cyclic history itself and in the wisdom of ourselves that we do now and have for the past few generations.
We have the capacity to understand our narrative as humanity. And self knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. We know how we have screwed up. We know where we are doing well. As individuals, as groups, nations. Species. We are beginning to comprehend that doing this kind of damage to each other is insanity. As a collective. And individually.
We are beginning to see possibility. Which is about hope for better things. Doing for better things. There are so many people actively working to help others and investigate their own failings so that they can be more well rounded, compassionate, strong people. I see so much courage. People are stepping out, at risk to themselves, to speak truth.
And we, realizing, that there are as many truths as there are moments in time. That’s why every story matters. And that’s why we need to hear the stories of those whose realities are ignored in art and culture and philosophy and science and academia and sports and every FACET of humanity. We need to understand that we are fucking ourselves when we fuck each other. And I believe we are there. And we are assessing on a grand scale. And at individual ones too. That’s where it happens anyway. One person in the corner of their world does things differently. Shows folks a different way. Maybe they learn something from it. Everywhere.
People want to strive for more. You can see it. Feel it. But fear is the great equalizer. It holds so many back. It has held me back. But that almost never happens to me anymore. And I’m still alive. And I’m having the time of my fucking life.
I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow and I will never know. It doesn’t matter. I will speak my truth, and I will reap the benefits whether they be positive or negative. I will absorb the lessons. I will shift the paradigm because of it. Words spoken out loud have power. They move minds. We can all do this.
People want to be brave. They want to be more. It is our nature. Showing possibility is what people need. They need to know that if they take the chance, they will be doing it for something better. Even if they lose. People are willing to gamble on a loss if they know the outcome could be better. Or will eventually be. It’s why immigrants risk it all to leave their lands to try and build something completely new somewhere else. It’s why we ask out a person we are attracted to. It’s why we speak aloud our truths that are rarely heard. We hope. For the possible.
Be brave. Always be brave. You have but one life. And every small victory feels like nirvana. And it matters to the end game. Yours and ours.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Funny, I watched Brene Brown’s new Netflix special after I wrote this. And it resonated so deeply. Let’s finish with a word from her.