You know what everyone’s greatest fear is? It is that all the dreams we have, all the crazy ideas and aspirations, all the impossible romantic longings and utopian visions can come true, that the world can grant our wishes.
People spend their lives doing everything in their power to fend off that possibility: they beat themselves up with every kind of insecurity, sabotage their own efforts, undermine love affairs and cry sour grapes before the world even has a chance to defeat them… because no weight could be heavier to bear than the possibility that everything we want is possible. If that is true, then there really are things at stake in this life, things to be truly won or lost. Nothing could be more heartbreaking than to fail when such success is actually possible, so we do everything we can to avoid trying in the first place, to avoid having to try.
For if there is even the slightest possibility that our hearts’ desires could be realized, then of course the only thing that makes sense is to throw ourselves entirely into their pursuit and risk that heartbreak.
Despair and nihilism seem safer, projecting our hopelessness onto the cosmos as an excuse for not even trying. So we remain, clutching our resignation, as secure as corpses in coffins (“better safe and sorry”)… but this still cannot ward off that dreadful possibility. Thus in our hopeless flight from the real tragedy of the world, we only heap upon ourselves false tragedy, unnecessary tragedy, as well.
Perhaps this world will never conform perfectly to our needs—people will always die before they are ready, perfect relationships will end in ruins, adventures will end in catastrophe and beautiful moments be forgotten.
But what breaks my heart is the way we flee from those inevitable truths into the arms of more horrible things. It may be true that every [human] is lost in a universe that is fundamentally indifferent to [her], locked forever in a terrifying solitude—but it doesn’t have to be true that some people starve while others destroy food or leave fertile farms untilled. It doesn’t have to be true that men and women waste their lives away working to serve the hollow greed of a few rich men, just to survive. It doesn’t have to be that we never dare to tell each other what we really want, to share ourselves honestly, to use our talents and capabilities to make life more bearable, let alone more beautiful. That’s unnecessary tragedy, stupid tragedy, pathetic and pointless. It’s not even utopian to demand that we put an end to farces like these.
If we could bring ourselves to believe, to really feel, the possibility that we are invincible and can accomplish whatever we want in this world, it wouldn’t seem out of our reach at all to correct such absurdities.
What I am begging you to do here is not to put faith in the impossible, but have the courage to face that terrible possibility that our lives really are in our own hands, and to act accordingly: to not settle for every misery fate and humanity have heaped upon us, but to push back, to see which ones can be shaken off.
Nothing could be more tragic, and more ridiculous, than to live out a whole life in reach of heaven without ever stretching out your arms.
Read more here: http://s.rvxn.org/flying-or-falling/