October 10th, 2022
I just read an essay in which the writer was feeling paralyzed with fear because she felt as though she was living in the shadow of her audience’s expectations of her; she knows she can’t be the best of herself at all times, and people want to believe that you are the good things you write and nothing less.
It resonated with me greatly.
I write a lot about kindness, but I am not always kind, and I have done and been unkind things. I will continue this trend. This happens as a side effect of being human, and I present as human often.
The thing that keeps me going is that I genuinely want to be kind. To you. To myself. In every aspect of my life. So I keep trying.
A problem with religion is that when an individual uses it to say they can or cannot do something or allow someone else to do something, the outside observer then assesses that person’s entire life and judges how much of it is lived in accordance with the same rules they cite in this immediate case; the outside observer is correct in doing so, as the religious person is using those same rules to impose will and those rules need to be universal and just in order to be fair.
I hate to be a broken record, but nobody is perfect, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the realm of religious moral grandstanding.
I don’t want to dig deeper into that for the time being, but it’s the seed for secular and spiritual unrest in the world right now.
I just want to make something clear.
When I am nice to you, I am not doing it in hopes of heaven or fear of hell, because I believe in neither in the literal sense. I just want you know the feeling of someone being nice to you.
When I try to help you, I don’t do so because I feel like God is watching me. I help you because I want you to succeed.
I don’t listen to you because I need something. I listen to you because I care about you.
I don’t share my life with you in all these words because I’m confessing to anything. I share them because life is hard and I think it becomes easier when we’re honest with each other.
I don’t do things under spiritual threat. I do them to raise spirits.
And when I fail at any of those things, and I do, daily, I fail at them in the same human way that I can succeed at them.
So I keep trying.
And I think as long as we try, as skin and blood and steely bone, as brains and hearts and electric muscle, we have a chance of finding heaven on the ground.