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The Way of Ignorance

August 21, 2013

I’ve been struggling with wrapping my head around how fast time moves. I’m at an age where there’s just a lot going on – and yeah, that’ll probably never improve, but there’s such a vast difference between small town college life and working class city life. There’s just always something going on, and despite spending my first year as a school bus driver, where all I did was sit and stew and process, I could never seem to catch up. I’m still at least a month behind reality.

This morning, I realized how poorly I’ve been handling this lately. Instead of relaxing, taking things as they come, and living at my own pace, I got caught up in the traffic of the world. I wanted everything I wanted and I wanted it all now. I wasn’t willing to wait. I thought it wasn’t fair for me to wait.

I’ve always had a restlessness – a longing to be somewhere else, somewhere better. I think that’s why I’m so unfocused, and why I love writing and creating so much. But, there comes a point where you have to learn how to be content, or else you’re going to end up driving yourself crazy, and I was definitely heading down that road. So, I’m searching for that balance – because you have to feel a certain sense of discontentment to realize improvement, but you have to be content to avoid a Hemingway-esque fate.

Robert Frost wrote in his poem “Build Soil”,

I bid you to a one-man revolution – 

The only revolution that is coming.

 

Similarly, Wendell Berry wrote in his essay, “The Way of Ignorance” (one of those life-changing conglomeration of words in my life): 
Our damages to watersheds and ecosystems will have to be corrected one farm, one forest, one acre at a time. The aftermath of a bombing has to be dealt with one corpse, one wound at a time. And so the first temptation to avoid is the call for some sort of revolution.
 
The best possible way to make the world a better place to live is to make yourself a better person, and to focus on your immediate surroundings; to live out “at minimum, compassion, and humility and caution” as Berry writes in the same essay. It begins in our individual souls, and grows into an unbreakable chain. Whatever change you want in your community, state, country, the world – whatever movement or revolution you strive for, just live that change and that revolution quietly and personally, and it will surely spread. It may not spread like a wildfire, but it will spread like a the crops grow – slow and steady, and hardly noticeable day to day until, before you know it, they are ripe and ready for consumption.
 
Grace and Love.
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