Dante wrote a poem, The Inferno. Traveling through the levels of hell only to come out again having learned something valuable, Lucifer had gone through only to find the epidemy of evil. Depending on the perpetrator’s crime, the punishment was decided and taken on by the adulterers, the fortune tellers, and any non-believers that deserved the worst. In a way, they had all asked for it. The fortune tellers with their heads turned backwards, the adulterers, forced to stay with their partners, with no chance of enjoying any life they had left. Lucifer was stuck in ice water, paralyzed from waste down, with no control over that part of his frail limbs. His upper torso could only live through and suffer as much, if not more than the frozen lower part from his hips to the very ends of his toes and sit there, knowing that dying might be better than this.
So I sit here thinking that I and millions of others like me might share something in common, might have been through hell and back, broken out of the reigns only to have learned something valuable. Hell is the epidemy of evil; it holds monsters and daemons, our worst fears that have once been the route of our excitement. Lucifer, having power over the humans and having them not have the free will and movement he was blessed with, excited him, and gave him the sensation of something sacred he knew he wanted.
Teenagers, adolescents, youth, me, us; we all have gone through hell. Some of us, or most of us have been back to visit earth, the ever-changing miracle we were blessed with that lives on and has for more than we can count on our own hands. All we ask for is change. Change excites us teenagers, change is feared by parents and grandparents. The fear for them is also change while all we wish for is to turn sixteen, get our licenses, and blow out 21 candles so that we may party legally or something? All we want is for the world to give us something different for once, so we can experience life at its fullest because these are supposed to be the “best years of our lives.” Change is the epidemy of evil. It can be hell. We wish for change and most of us get it.
Our dads may die from cancer, our mothers may start smoking and our best friends who just got their license may be the next victims in a drive-by shooting at a local gas station. That’s change isn’t it? Change is what we ask for and change is what we get. Parents only fear change because our generation will grow older, separate from them, move out and get a job, maybe find the perfect man or woman that’s perfect for them and move out officially. Grown-ups know better than to ask for change, they have learned, and although our generations have some very extreme differences and they have experienced more of some events and we have experienced more media acknowledgements, they still know a little better than us.
Although change can be good and needs to be faced and needs to be seen as a “good thing,” change can be conniving. Change makes us wish, change makes us hopeful. We have faced hell, the most of us, and we have come back again only learning a valuable lesson once we faced our daemon. Change is hell, but we will make it through. Never give up on change and don’t stop believing in change, because although it is a scary thing and paralyzes us, it also makes us conscious of other things around that could be better and will get better. Change is hell but change is good because the lesson we learn from it is worth the adventure through the epidemy of evil. Do not fear what you know you will learn from, what you know you will get out of. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.