sometimes i catch a glimpse of the big picture so clearly, i can’t help but recognize that what seems important to me is really very small in comparison. what makes sense in a bubble is bizarre in actual context. no matter how much i try to challenge the world around me to look at things differently, the only progress i can measure is in challenging myself. i attack my own comfort zones like a wild dog attacking fleas.
i’ve been shovelling a lot of snow this winter. and doing other things. and all the while i think of what i want to write. i have really important things to say sometimes. things that the world needs to hear. thoughts that need to be shared even if it’s only strangers in far away countries who actually read them. and then i find myself in front of my computer. and i’m always doing other things. i don’t make time. i need to work on that. you’ve missed out on a lot of great essays and poetry. i’ve missed out. and i’ve just been accepting that, day after day…
a friend of mine said recently, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept”. i want to have that attitude. but i can’t find any immediate role models. acceptance is so insidious. acceptance has great connotations – open, welcoming, embracing, appreciating. but that’s not what it usually means, not down here on the ground, not down here outside of the control tower – acceptance usually means resignation, limitation, settling for less and hushing one’s voice. it’s got a Confucian connotation to it in my mind, inextricable from “know your place” and “defer to your elders”. “accept” is most commonly used in the context of mundane material transactions. “now accepting applications”, “this machine does not accept $5 bills”, “please accept this free gift with your purchase as a token of our apology for the long lines at checkout”.
the words we use – the words we choose – are beyond important. remember that. the next time you feel that you really ought to try to change something, go ahead and change it instead of accepting a status quo that doesn’t include fulfilment or happiness.