Go For What Hurts

If you don't read anything else on the page today, I'd recommend you take a look at the speech at the second link below. Jonathan Franzen packs a lot into the post. It is well worth the time you'll spend reading it. There isn't anything terribly new revealed in his piece, but what he says may help some of you feel less frustrated, disappointed, and hopeless. The world we live in is relentlessly problematic and the human beings in it terribly flawed, but not letting those flaws and problems extinguish the passion we have for all the wonders around us, is the hardest thing we have to do each day.

Real passion is something you don't see much in abundance in adults. Most people give up on it like it is an old piece of chewing gum, too tough to keep, to troublesome to part with. They enclose it, seal it up within themselves, and and keep it quiet, until they forget they ever had it. Without passion there is little risk and less potential to be hurt. Without passion people lose empathy, lose hope, and close themselves off to all the possibilities of their life. They accept what is put before them and cloak themselves in the distractions of modern life, isolated even in places full of other people or the wonders of natural world.  

Like Franzen there have been many times I felt like giving up. Often I've wondered what it would be like to float through life in a foggy haze oblivious to all the important, pressing matters happening around me. Sometimes I just want a respite from all the knowledge, empathy, and history I have amassed in my short forty year life. Fortunately, I didn't let go of all my passion, even when I wanted to, even when it was so tempting to do so. 

Thankfully, my passion for education, art, writing, culture, universal equality, animal welfare, spirituality, and the environment have sustained me, guided me, even when I though I would falter. Even if I don't accomplish what I want to, even if I'm not able to save all the things I hope to, even if it all unravels, I will know I tried. I may end up very hurt and disappointed, but I'll never be without passion and a real sense of belonging. To paraphrase Franzen, go for what hurts; it's all that's worth fighting for.


Education Will Break Your Heart

Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts.