No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
(Dead Poets Society, 1989)
I normally go into my conversations with a set of proven questions to ask, that I find will elicit a wide variety of anecdotes from people’s lives: happiest moment, saddest moment, things like that. But with people fleeing war, it is absolutely impossible to discuss anything beyond the present moment. Their circumstances are so overpowering, there is absolutely zero room in their minds for any other thoughts. The conversation immediately stalls, because any topic of conversation beyond their present despair seems grossly inappropriate. You realize that without physical security, no other layers of the human experience can exist. “All day they do is cry for home,” she told me. (Dohuk, Iraq)
Eleanor Roosevelt on happiness, conformity, and integrity
Such an amazing quote.
I laminated a paper towel
why does this have 31 thousand notes
You made it useless but also prevented it from the end it was predestined for.
But wait this is actually freaking me out though, it raises so many questions about the otherwise incomprehensible meaning of life as a collective whole versus personal sustenance and longevity
Imagine if one day you were given a choice: Become immortal and indestructible for eternity, unable to be harmed by anything ever again, and get to live forever.
However, in order to achieve that you must give up whatever your purpose in life is. Whatever it is that you were always meant to do, what you were supposed to contribute to the overall scheme and future of the life of the universe, your purpose… the whole reason you were even created, even born in the first place. You must give that up. You don’t know what that is. You’ll never know; But, regardless, you say yes.
Perhaps you assume you wouldn’t have made any sort of significant difference anyway. That butterfly effect theory or whatever they call it? Nah, you call bullshit. It doesn’t matter - you don’t matter, at least not to anything outside of your immediate connections - and it’ll all be fine, and you’ll just live forever with minimal (or maybe even no) consequences.
So, yay! You’re now immortal. You’ll never die or get hurt ever again. Wee!
But then, centuries and centuries later (not to mention that by this point you’ve gone through horrible heartbreak and misery and despair because every loved one you ever had, every friend you ever made, ever person you barely got to know, has passed away, died as you lived on long without them, helpless to do anything for them as you watched them perish, unable to ever go with them or ever see them again. But I digress), now, you learn you actually were important in the grand scheme of things. You were supposed to be a key factor in the world’s survival, long ago; but, because of the choice you made (immortality over individual purpose), you were never given the knowledge or awareness or resources or ability to save the world that you were always supposed to obtain, before you unknowingly made the wrongest choice to ever wrong.
Needless to say, you’ve fucked up big time.
The entire universe as we know it is destroyed soon after this horrifying revelation. It implodes, collapses in on itself, essentially forming a massive black hole or something. Stars, nebulae, galaxies, solar systems and planets, worlds and worlds of living people and things, and light-years of time and space and life, all sucked up into absolute, indefinite nothingness.
But you remain.
Just you. Floating amongst, spiraling around, rocketing through, suspended in… nothing. With a feeling of such unbelievable loneliness that your feeble brain can hardly perceive, can’t possibly hope to comprehend. Not only are you the only living thing left, you don’t even have one inanimate object to keep you company. You have literally. Nothing. And you are literally nowhere. I mean, technically, you are now the universe - if it would bring you petty comfort to think about it that way. You. Only you. With nothing, no one, nowhere. Forever. And ever. And ever.
All because you thought you didn’t matter. That you had no real, meaningful purpose. That you could never possibly make a difference.
But you did. And now look what you’ve gotten yourself into, you silly nugget. You’re gonna be pretty bored and lonely for that eternity, huh?
Or maybe it was out of selfishness. Maybe this wasn’t because you felt useless, but because you simply only cared about prolonging your own life and nothing else. Hm.
The moral here? Be selfless, and always know and remember that you matter.
Or else, one day, you might destroy the universe. And be left to suffer, and be tortured horribly and endlessly by the void of nothingness that has consumed you. With no way to escape. Ever.
Other moral because I got sidetracked from my initial point - all things considered, would you choose longevity over purpose? Immortality over meaning?
OR, IDK, MAYBE SOME IDIOT JUST LAMINATED A STUPID PIECE OF PAPER TOWEL FOR NO GOOD REASON
AND MAYBE I SHOULDNT BE LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS TO THE MEANING OF OUR SHORT, FRAGILE LIVES IN
T OW E L
I D K
Write. A. Book.
What if I did write a book
and the pages of that book
were made out of
Get someone — or more than one someones — whose opinion you respect to read the book. Then ask them to tell you when they lost interest, what parts of the plot confused them, who they didn’t care about, where they decided they didn’t care to finish it, etc. Then use that as your guide to rewriting. (You can also pretend you’ve never read it before and try to read it as an audience, and work out where YOU feel frustrated or bored.)
Or you could put that book aside and use everything you learned writing it as you write your next book. Then go back to this book when you are ready and a more experienced writer.