Election day special.
Choose … wisely.
This post’s picture originally appeared on November 9, 2010 at 9:53 am. Check that near-synchronicity.
Hello, kids! Whom do you love?
How much do you love me?
With all our hearts!
Today’s show promises to be a marvelous celebration of the human spirit. But first, I regret to say I see a youngster who looks troubled. What’s your name, young man?
Bart Simpson, sir.
Well, Bart, perhaps we can shed some light on your problem in a new segment exploring pre-adolescent turmoil. I call it, “Choices.”
(“Krusty Gets Busted.” The Simpsons: Season 1, Episode 12. Original airdate April 29, 1990.)
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
(Anaïs Nin. D. H. Lawrence : An Unprofessional Study. 1932.)
This is a challenge breathtaking in scope. Wanting to change is so much easier than actually having the courage of the deed. I think it is a thing that happens by degrees, so that you look at yourself one day and realize you are totally different than the person you had been six months or a year or a decade ago. Where we elect the state of stasis and suffer that kind of death is where we mistake sameness for security, security for happiness, happiness for living. I wanted for very long to stay hidden, because I thought there was safety in that.
It is not just about a rut. It’s more like a trench, and the longer you stay in it, the more likely you’ll be hit by a Howitzer if you try darting topside. You have to climb with calculation, sometimes big leaps to get over a tough, deeply rooted, scrabbly stretch, sometimes taking ages of care to navigate your foot to a safe path. I have no idea what waits at the top. It might not be happiness. But how much better to see the whole field and enter the battle than to cower at the bottom of the trench?
To elect to “become” is to elect to risk. Risk is frightening because, whether it pays off in your estimation or disappoints you horribly, it guarantees one certain result: change.