A Desperate Declaration

5 Aug

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever seen the world of people around you? No, not have you looked at them; have you seen them? Those five o’clock rush hour faces: tight, tried and tired. Their backs slump as they slide into their seats on the train, the knots in their stomachs unwind as they hold the handles on the bus, their heads fall back against the seat in their cars as the pull up to the red stoplight. You dont have to hear them sigh to recognize their relief. Its not the kind of triumphant weariness that comes from having won the battle. Its more like the resignation to rest because, while they know there is another battle to fight tomorrow, they will never be farther from it than they are at that moment.

The truth is they would probably give anything to free themselves from the burdens of their lives. They would love to sneak away from the responsibilities that keep them running in circles on the wheel of success. Oh the quiet desperation! The real tragedy, though, is that we don’t make the effort to really see the kindred spirits around us and realize that in our anguish…we are not alone. Perhaps we don’t dare to speak it because we are afraid that saying it will make it real; as if pain needs our acknowledgment to exist. Perhaps we think no one wants to hear about our issues…so we don’t bother to bring them up.

Well, one day my soul was dealt a series of blows from which I thought I would never recover. Desperation died in that battle and I found my voice in it’s wake. I decided then to give voice to my desperation lest the lessons of my pain be buried with me in the grave. I began to believe that maybe if I confessed, someone else would, and someone else, and someone else. And one day we might all stand with all our pain, disappointment, worries, and fears laid out before us…and we might, then, comfort, counsel, and heal one another. We might move beyond our issues and find the strength and the hope to change, to grow, to evolve. What ends in deed, begins in thought, and succeeds in declaration. So here’s my declaration: I got violet ambitions.

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