I've spent the greater part of this day witnessing anger, shock and teary-eyed grief. The loss of lives that had barely begun is a loss too tragic for words. But I sit here and I wonder... What will come of the outrage? What will come of our collective pain? Tweets? Facebook updates? Blog posts? Will that be the end of it?
I do not intend to disparage the internet. I recognize that it is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. The internet raises the accessibility of information and makes communication easier with its instantaneity. I understand that some don't see the need for high accessibility or instantaneous communication on a truly global scale. Misuse of information and fraud are what open both of those benefits of the internet to criticism. But for those of us who have designs on public positions in society, this tool is beyond invaluable. To take it a step farther, the internet may just be the only tool average men and women have left to reestablish the freedoms humankind has lost and is continuing to lose.
But with that said, I must admit that not too long ago, I was on the cusp of making the jump off the grid. More than simply deactivating my social networking profiles though, I intended to become a ghost. No home, no address, no belongings, nothing. I had been giving this fringe-of-society lifestyle serious thought. It seemed to be sensible at the time. If death is promised us, if we cannot save our loved ones, let alone the world, what purpose does it serve to live in this system that hampers our ingenuity, insults our intelligence and imprisons our souls? Are our lives meant solely for mere existence? I said and say no. Under that impression, I considered running away from it all, as there seemed to be greater freedom in the world beyond mainstream society's borders. But in the wake of tragedies both personal and external, I surmised that such a life was a disservice to my Self, other human beings and Earth in general.
Pain educated me and I finally understood. There is no freedom for a single man while the rest of his family is in chains... and any perception of freedom in that circumstance is a delusion.
Understand me: the life off the grid is merely an escape from the meaninglessness, not a solution to it. Those who not only see but also understand the meaninglessness in and the senselessness behind most of society's customs are the ones who have the greatest intuitive insight on how to build toward a better future. And it is they who are the most culpable in the failure of humankind to advance beyond its current stage. But it is important to note that some of those visionaries are so encumbered by internalized attitudes that they view their powerful insight as an insurmountable lostness. They misunderstand their divine eyesight as a relegation to a life as a purposeless outcast, rather than as an elevation to the pedestal of true greatness. Worse still, there are those of them who have become so utterly jaded and expectant of doom that they reject society altogether and just run, largely keeping to themselves while the rest of humanity swirls around the drain.
Upon reflection, I found that to be an utterly disgusting state of being. To run and hide while others suffer, to be at ease and free of worry while the world is in turmoil… that is truly an unconscionable cowardice. Enlightened to the true nature of freedom and how life should be as opposed to how it is, I immersed myself in my studies because the act of professing my beliefs articulately should be as natural as breathing to me. But I see now that there is no time left for mere study. Now is the time to begin our work, the grand task of establishing humanity and harmony with life as the supreme end of our existence. I believe very firmly in human beings and their potential. Not just the potential of our callow youth, but also the potential of my fellow young adults and even our elders.
Today's tragedies in America and in China are a reminder that life is not a thing we as individuals can possess forever. Life is, however, a thing that we as a people can share with the next generation, on and on for as long as man exists. Today should also serve as a reminder that we cannot allow tragedies to cause us to forget our social, political and economic woes. Instead, it must make us more aware of those issues, it must make us more dedicated to surmounting them.
Live your life so that those around you and those coming after you may have life more abundantly. Stand up and begin to make noise in your communities. Speak as your cautious and fearful minds have longed to speak. Act as your aching and tired hearts and longed to act. Be as your soul has always begged you to be. Become that which lies dormant within but is destined to surface: great. You who call yourself outcast, embrace your vision and lead us, help us shape the world we have all dreamed of. Let us all begin to live as we should have always lived, let us begin to love as we should always have loved...
May love ever possess you, may peace come into your life.