These are the things I’ve learned in the past few years. Some I wish I could have learned later.
People who hurt people don’t usually do it on purpose. Even when people love others, their fear and insecurity closes in on them like a wild animal hemmed in by adversaries. They strike out. The closest are wounded. These people are mistaken. It is important to remember, for me anyway, that compassion can be detrimental. Or, maybe not, but it must be tempered with uprightness. Angry people are dangerous. It is important to get away from them.
I don’t believe that I’ve learned necessarily more important lessons this way. There isn’t anything better about learning the hard lessons in life.Why is it implied that it’s somehow less real to live a happy life? To be unacquainted with sorrow is unlikely, admittedly. But healthy sorrow is different from despair, grief at feeling hated. Sometimes tears taste different. The tears from Mom’s funeral were honest. (That’s how I think of them. It doesn’t mean that I think these tears aren’t. It just means that it’s something pinpoint-able.) Tears from these current troubles are despairing, exhausted, diluted.
As far as I can tell, a good life is about being happy. Doing things that are pleasant. Being with generous people, kind people, beautiful people. It’s a bit hard to write that because critics might say that that’s shallow. Which brings me to my third point:
Who cares what the mean people think.
Fourth. Because you can tolerate much misery, it doesn’t mean you should.
Fifth. Romantic love is as perplexing to me as the fourth planet from the sun. But I want to understand.
No one, except prisoners, are truly ever stuck. And some prisons offer yoga, so not even those.
This one lesson has really hit home lately: my possessions, such as they are, are worth nothing to me in comparison with happiness. I would trade it all for an extra day with Annie. I would, will leave it all behind to stay with Annie and to live in a shack with love. What do they say? Better a dinner of herbs where love is than a feast of meat in an angry house?
I want to be happy. The only way I know to do that is to be around happy people, good people, and to help people myself. More than ever I’ve learned to accept everything about people. I don’t even think that anything about people is wrong, unless it is deliberately intended to hurt another. That behavior, thank heaven, seems scarce. Pain is avoidable. I hope.