October 26, 2008

Love and Be Loved

I recently received the following email from a former student:

How's life? I'm sorry that it is only the times that I'm completely overwhelmed and lose faith in humanity that I choose to email you; I will be more frequent with my correspondence. But yes, that is the case as of now. It seems a little laughable that my last email consisted of me whining about a new school and a new environment when a problem of such magnitude lies waiting to be unraveled. It's the world. It just seems to big for me lately. The problem is, I don't understand. I don't understand why I'm here and I don't understand the point of life when we're all going to die anyway. Why? Why is God just puppeteering this stage for billions of years when the outcome is NOTHING? And then there's us. Human beings. Known destroyers of the environment, sufferers of their own actions. So IF we are actually here to help others and heal our communities, what are we achieving? We cure the others, they pollute the environment and then we all die anyway. Or, we cure others, they behave very well and they actually help the community, but we all die anyway.  
I need to know what we're here for and I need to know that life isn't just a broken string with no definite goal. I hope you can answer any and/or all these questions, but if you can't, that's fine too! Thanks for bearing with me and my ambitions to understand the world at the age of 15.
 Here is my response:

I suppose I need to write the following letter for myself, just as much as I need to write it for you. I need to write it every few weeks, sometimes it feels like I need to write it everyday. I think we all sometimes need words to remind us of why to care. Just the fact that you are concerned enough to doubt yourself is the first sign that you are a caring, compassionate, and living soul.

Hang in there you are one of the lucky ones. You are on the right track early in life. You have seen that the universe is a special place. You are close to the pulse, and trust me while it is very tender this close to the bone, this is the place be.

No matter how disparaged you may sometimes feel, there is value in a compassionate soul. Look to nature for proof. If you don’t believe sometimes, just take time to focus on those things that bring a smile to your face. Examine the beauty you see in simply watching the natural world move about you. Sit one night and watch the moon rise. Oceans are a good place to stare. The wind. The sun. The earth will always replenish your spirit.

Write. Spout. Create. Lash out. Rage. Mediate. Pray. Move through it. Flow. Change. Grow.

I am not one who believes in good or evil. The world is too complex for evil. Simple people blame their shortcomings on evil and wallow in apathy. The world is filled with illusions and ignorance. The only way is awareness and love. Be aware of frustration. Find its source. Feed your brain.

Remember that I said these words are just as much for me as they are for you, because I too am often lost in a state of apathy and despair. The world makes me angry and sad too, but more often that not I see my suffering in my own inadequacies. Do not worry about saving the world, look into the mirror, stare at your eyes and make sure that you are who you want to be. Be patient with yourself. Love yourself first and see the best and the worst of the world in your soul. Start the work right there, right then.

Look for like-minded people. Band together. Don’t give up. If you are ever lost, look no farther than me. I will always be there for you if you need a shoulder or some advice, if you promise to do the same for me. I chose to be a teacher so I could find people like you to walk with me through life. I won’t give up on you, if you don’t give up on yourself. We learn. We teach. We grow. On and on…….

These words may have not structure or theme, I am just letting them spill from my mind and pour over this keyboard. I am listening to music that makes me smile and gives me hope. I suggest you make your life out of music and art. Find the wild ones and watch their actions. Don’t take anything too seriously. Your life is a flash that disappears and leaves you dead before you know. Above all have fun, smile, dance, and have no regrets. There is no time for I should haves. See, hear, be everything. Go everywhere; let your answer always be yes. Let your spirit be infectious. Set the example, by what you do, not what you say.

You want to know why you are here? You want to know God’s plan, don’t worry yourself with plans or gods, just do what we feels right. Be kind, smile, love, express yourself. Don’t worry about yourself. Don’t worry. Be like a tree and stand tall and grow. Circulate air, this may be your most important purpose. Stick your roots into the ground and churn the soil. Your purpose is to live and die. Period. Do those two things, and do them 100%. Everything else is an allusion.

You said that you need to know that life isn’t a broken string. I can’t tell you that. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Do not concern yourself with what life is or isn’t. When we feel broken these words tend to sting and seem na├»ve. I know. But over and over, I have seen that it really is this simple. All the books, all the religions, all the theories don’t add up to anything unless you can love and be love.

You want a goal? You want to feel meaningful? Love and be loved, as best and as often as you can. Everything else will fall into place after that.

This songs seems appropriate:


  1. Incredibly timely for me; thankyou for posting this, thinking this, expressing the sentiments here.

  2. After reading this/watching the video, it reminded me how hard it is to not know, but how easy it is to let it go and have faith again in the world.

  3. Agh, sorry about "Zoe Trope." It's actually Lindsea.

  4. "broken string" is something that i totally understand. sometimes it's hard to have faith in yourself when you can't seem to find faith in anyone/anything else. that's when you have to reach out to someone; that's why people need people with love in their life.

  5. Wrote a response. Sort of.

  6. This might be my favorite bit of your writing so far. Really great.

    And I love that you have a relationship with your students that encourages them to send you an e-mail like that one. I wish I had had someone like you when I was 15. I hope to be someone like that for some 15 year old. You should be proud of yourself.

    And that's a beautiful song. I got a little burned out on Franti a while back, but hadn't ever heard that song. Thanks for re-inspiring me. I'm going to learn it.