Seeing

There’s a lot to be done, and in key ways life is already over – there are far too many moments I want back.

It was just looking around today, seeing all the big things that were wrong – the decay of entire areas, jobless and lonely people everywhere, a general sense of helplessness permeating what should be joyous – that makes me wonder.

I spend my time working on words, trying to find the right ones. But there’s plenty of speech out there. Lots of people talk, and if they were listened to, that would make all the difference.

And lots of people act, too. There’s lots of hard work and smartly directed work and plans gone right. And all things fall and are built again.

We tend to look inward for what it is that is resolute and permanent. But speech and action are products of the will, which is by definition resolution made manifest. That manifestation is marked for all time – once something is done, it cannot be taken back temporally.

Changes of heart aren’t really what we’re looking to effect. Persuasion is about getting others to see differently. That’s not inward so much as directed outward. That feeling of helplessness wasn’t coming merely from the conditions I witnessed, as much as the suspicion that those conditions couldn’t be remedied from an outsider alone.

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