Last week, I wrote about going out there, feeling that fire, and making things better for yourself and your communities. While that message seems obvious and even elementary, I feel we all could use a vital reminder at this precarious moment. Very simple, yet profound realizations hit us like a Mac truck sometimes. These realizations stop us in our tracks for a moment, take our breath away and clear our heads of doubt. For a single, blistering moment, the world and the way out and through are laid bare. That is some terrifying shit, but it can change you so much, and for the better. Our entire global community stands at an important precipice right now. Do we as humanity act in the old prescribed behavior of shoot first, blow it up later? Or do we get off our asses, make some noise, stand in some streets and begin to precipitate real change?
Discernment is very important when it comes to deciding which action to take. When a realization hits us where we live and motivates us to DO something, right then, we need to tread carefully. It’s too easy to go into a situation with guns blazing, ready to set your life on fire and make earth-shattering, immediate change. We see this play out on the world stage all the time. When injustice strikes, it’s simple to take steps to burn it all down and start over from nothing. By all means! Burn it all down, play around in that cinder and ash, but not before you carry away what you need to build anew. While many are content to sit and just think about an issue, I feel moved to do something. Talk is cheap, action is real. Andrew Vachss wrote “behavior is truth” and never have I heard a more simple, true thing. It became my battle mantra. When I picked up his books in high school, I felt like I got my marching orders. Action propels us to the forefront, straight out on the battle lines. This is where life is at it’s most real, most visceral, most fundamentally beautiful and frightening. If we slip into that stream, pick up on that current, it can carry us and our respective communities into an ocean of vital and newfound intensity.
As our country continues to march toward Syria and what seems like impending doom, remember not to blow your own life to dust and bits. In this life, my ambition and decisive action often is falsely read as aggression. That detail gets me in trouble all the time. I’m a mover and a shaker, a renegade and a reject. I don’t have time to sit on my thumbs and worry about what people think about me, not if I’m truly doing good work. Recently, a quote surfaced again with a new origin. It’s been attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, RuPaul, and many others. “What others think of me is none of my concern.” I got to do something, if I see a good chance. I always try to act within reason and integrity. Don’t blow yourself up like Jack Parsons in a mad pursuit of experience, but don’t wilt up on the wall and go insane, either.