It's interesting at times, when you get a glimpse behind the façades of people you have known for some time, but never known well. It is a surprising reminder of how human we all are, how fragile and vulnerable. Even if it is someone you don't particularly like, for whatever reason, when they expose their inside to you, it makes them someone you identify with. You find yourself wanting to know them better, so that you can see the good you've been missing, or overlooking, all along.
As I've said before, in the end we are all simply humans, no more or less. We all hurt, and hurt others with our carelessness and callousness. I write this to remind myself that it is my duty to love others, if I believe what I say I believe about our purpose here on earth. It is all too easy to give your love sparingly to the people that you deem "deserve it." But that isn't such a giving love. To love those who really don't deserve it; that's the hard thing to do, but the one that makes you different. We know people that have loved us when we didn't deserve it, and those are the people that have had the greatest effect on our lives, I think; because it causes you to re-examine yourself, to say, "Okay, what do they see in me that warrants such wonderful treatment? Maybe I should be the person they are giving me credit for being." Unconditional love from others is powerful. It makes us want to change for the better.
Oddly, this is the lesson of Christianity, where Christ gave His life for the undeserving world. However, most Christians forget this as being the important lesson of Christianity and set about "trying to be good" not because they are becoming what God wants them to be in order to please Him, but because they are trying to be "better" than the ungodly sinners out there. Wrong answer. When you are the recipient of unconditional love from someone, it changes you in ways you are compelled to change. You can avoid it or resist it, but if you are smart, you don't want to. Anyone who has had a child they loved has felt this need to change. For me, fatherhood became my new purpose and overrode all other drives I had up to that point in my life. I tell people the day my first son was born, I realized I had found my reason for being here. It is just that simple.
Recently, I have been avoiding some of the unconditional love I have received. I have been resisting the changes I should and need to make, and it has been to my own detriment. Allie, my wife, perhaps knows best of what I speak. I've fallen into a rut where I meet all challenges halfway, if that. I have learned that some people will love me unconditionally even if I fail to meet their expectations and become the better person they see. I have lived a life in the shadows of who I should be. To paraphrase a kiddie movie, I am more than I have become. This is no less than the source of all depression and feelings of worthlessness I have ever experienced.
All this might be readily obvious to some, but I have been blind much of my adult life to the truths of what matters and what doesn't; to what is fulfilling and what is not; to who I should be, and how to get there. The world has been host to many people who sat down to wait on their destiny to materialize, and waiting they died. I've waited long enough. I strive to make my destiny what I want it to be with my own sweat, and with the blood from my own blistered hands. I will do this first for me, but in so doing, I will be bringing all those who love me along. It is my responsibility, it is my purpose, it is the only reason for my existence.
I aspire to live.