You must leap.
You have no choice but to leap.
I am sorry to tell you, but there is simply no other way. Some things don't change without diving off a cliff.
If you smoke for example, I don't deny your painful addiction, or that the cancer sticks you devour were designed to create a life long supply of repeat customers. There is no reason to pretend however, that we both don't know how it will end. It is time to quit. There is no reason to bullshit anyone. I am your perfect unadulterated nobody, and I realize that I'm not minding my own business, but there is no denying your early and painful death.
One day, in the not so distant future, on a foggy Wednesday, you will be laying restless or exhausted in an uncomfortable hospital bed, gasping for air. That in itself is not enough to give you the courage you need so you can finally leap. You have seen the uncomfortable moment of epiphany play in your mind on several occasion before, time and time again, although you probably have to push it away. If you give it time to live and grow however, you will be able to see all the people that will come to say goodbye.
It's Wednesday. Do you see them? Can you smell their perfume and cologne? Can you hear them whisper? Can you see how quickly and uncomfortably they wipe away their tears? Do you see their little, stealing glances?
Your little daughter, or granddaughter; she will certainly be there. She is tall now, smart as a whip, and full of dreams; a bundle of life brimming with unlimited possibility. She will undoubtedly have tears in her eyes and an inexhaustible pain in her heart; hoping, praying, for a little more time. She will be desperately hoping for the break of day, for a chance to spend another morning in your presence. She wants more time, because words are never enough. There are never enough memories, never enough time, and she needs you to know how much she loves you. She wants to know how much you love her. All she wants, is a few more seconds, some more stolen moments, a chance to hold your withered hand. She doesn't want to you go.
You do see how this ends, don't you?
There is no time. You must leap.
Thankfully, we don't live our whole life on a cliff and I'm grateful that we don't leap too often. There is so much that we get right about living. There is much to be proud of. There is so much that gives us hope and consolation.
It is important to reflect daily, and be indebted the choices and experiences that have shaped us. We must continue moving forward. Standing still, brings us closer to the next cliff.
This is the formula I discovered and use, when I'm on solid ground, and I don't have to leap.
see everything - overlook a great deal - correct a little
It is never a good thing to be stupid because ignorance takes very little time and effort. That is a lie. I think it takes more effort to become an imbecile. There is a definite shortage of idiot, and only the very brave heed the call. Wisdom on the other hand demands a tremendous cost and requires an exhaustive effort.
It is important to see everything.
You have to hear the compliments. You have to hear the criticisms. You have to feel the pain and joy, feel the lows and the highs. We have to know what the elected or appointed leaders of our countries are doing, and we must be aware what our friends and neighbours are grumbling about.
See everything. Ignorance is not blissful. It will sing you a lullaby and imprison your soul.
overlook a great deal
I know we don't want to, but we have to look away.
We cannot save the dogs or kittens in the animal shelters that have been betrayed by their owners. We have to look away as they are killed today. We cannot help the woman who will be struck across her face. We cannot heal the swollen eye that was numbed with a violent fist. We cannot hug a child enough, who is being teased so much, that he is making plans to hang himself. There is no way to connect with the young woman who feels so fat and ugly, that she makes cuts on her wrists in a futile attempt to feel human. She just wants the thoughts in her head, which swarm like black flies, relentless and unforgiving, to disperse if only for a brief moment.
We have to overlook a great deal. We have to overlook much.
We cannot shoulder the burden of everything without collapsing under its weight.
correct a little
We must know. We must overlook much, but we cannot stand and wish it away.
We cannot stand and be numb.
It is not enough to say 'I'll pray for you' or 'I'm sorry for your loss'. How are thoughts and prayers going to reach me and help me anyway? It is a nice sentiment, but sentiments die a very quit death.
Make the effort, come over and bring me a beer. Sit and listen for a while without judgement, and perhaps, for a tiny little moment, your presence might be able to make a small difference.
We must correct just a little.
We much change a little bit.
A little. Not a lot.
We must move under the cover of darkness.
We must execute our actions in minutes, not days…
Read for only twenty minutes a day. Pray or meditate for five.
Complain less by ignoring those that gossip, but only on Tuesday evenings.
Don't quit television, but watch it with a renewed purpose. Pick shows you like and watch them. Ignore the shows that you have no interest in, but you watch because they are on, and in a perverse way, you think you are actually accomplishing or learning something.
Write in a journal for 10 minutes, and in point form.
Don't join a gym, but walk your dog for 10 extra minutes.
But I don't have one, then why not rescue one?
Don't write a 120,000 word novel in one month. Write it, 120 words at a time, but write every day. In less than three years, you will publish it and be the novelist you've always dreamed about.
Don't become an artist, experiment.
Don't become a master, live the life of a student.
Try a little.