I can only be generous, only do things for those I love, only be of use to the world, if I am safe, sheltered, self-sufficient. I cannot afford to be needy, to be fully open, to let my heart be broken.
I am no use to the world broken.
I am as self-sufficient, emotionally, as anyone I know.
But this stability has come at a price. I have built a protective shell around myself that cannot be penetrated until and unless I choose to open myself, and I do that rarely, only when I’m sure I can handle it. This has made me insensitive to much of the world’s pain and suffering, misanthropic, uncourageous, shut off from the grief that lurks beneath the knowledge of that awful suffering, and awareness of the state of this terrible world. I do this to survive, because I know what I can handle, and what I cannot.
I suspect I am far from alone in this.
I sometimes see the whole world as a hospital and a prison, with a trillion trillion creatures struggling to cope, to protect themselves and those they love, to heal themselves, to find support and solace and a trace of security, to steal a few moments of illusory freedom, and simply to survive. We are all civilization’s unwitting and well-intentioned victims, I think, hiding, or screaming out our pain, our innocence. Lurching from moment to moment, living for another day.
There is no cure, no pardon, no end, and no escape from our sentence here. We do what we must. We carry as much of the weight of the world as we can bear, and we turn away from the rest.
Or maybe I’m just projecting. Maybe it’s just me. No matter.