From February 2013

Here’s a thing I’ve been thinking about. We are connected to so many people, held in a web, as though we’re holding onto one end of hundreds of ropes. These ropes are of different length and strength, but, inevitably, the moment comes when we find ourselves holding one end of a rope with no one on the other side. Our lives are like that - we are destined to lose the people we want to hold onto - or they are destined to lose us. All of us know this about our lives - that they will end, and that, before they do, we will lose people we cherish.

We’re promised nothing in this life, not a year, not a day, not an hour. Every second of our existence is a bonus. We didn’t ask to be born, couldn’t have asked if we wanted to, and this astonishment of consciousness and connection, of thought and sensory delight, this amalgam of experience and sensation, this body, all of it will be gone one day. Life is so sweet, and so short. In sympathy with each other, we deserve, we all of us deserve, to live in a world of kindness and care.

This knowledge calls us to a powerful mission - to create this idea in the culture - to help each other, young and not so young, to acknowledge the terrible ephemeral beauty of this life, and to respond to that understanding with kindness, service, and care for each other. This mutual understanding is at the heart of empathy, which is the bedrock of justice. If we all know that we know this about our lives, then we can intelligently address bullying, healthcare, domestic violence, hunger. The basic idea of the world as it ought to be arises from an understanding of life as it is.

Thanks for reading. Good night.