I write this as an optimist and a cynic. I write this as a friend, as a son, as a child, as a young man, as a lover, as a fighter, as a hater, and as a hypocrite. No one ever needs to read this, because at some point in our lives, we all feel it. We all feel the tingle on back of our necks when we are frightened. We all feel the sorrow when we hurt someone we love. And we all feel the fear that dwells within us.
I met him a few years back. He was young, confident, and bold. He looked at the world as if it was his to hold. But he, like all the others his age, did not truly believe he made a difference. He had plenty of friends, and deep connections with some of them, but he was afraid to get too far into those friendships in fear of being hurt. And then he entered high school, and he hurt all of them. He lied, he stole, he cheated. He somehow kept most of them as friends anyway, because he could convince them that he cared what he did, he just did it anyway. And then he met her, and she intoxicated him. He abandoned those who stuck by him. He let himself be wound up in a world of false passion and tiring lust. He fought all those who had fought for him, and they fought him in an attempt to help him, and he turned them away. And then, after so much invested in her, she left him, and his heart was shattered. The one he loved and thought loved him, had moved on. And he reunited himself with the people that he had turned away, and with much effort, they returned to his side. This person that hurt and that was hurt, that crushed and was crushed was me. And through all that has happened in this time, life has taught me one simple truth. The purpose of life is to affect others and be affected by them. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.