on false hope

Once upon a time, I dared to dream. I dared to believe that all could be free, that everyone was special, if only they would just believe in themselves, and that I could change not a world, but a universe. Infinite universes.

Turns out I can barely change a mind not my own. I can barely change my own mind sometimes.

I believe in the truth of these things, but since I’ve long since insisted on playing devil’s advocate with all beliefs, including my own, and using as many perspectives as possible to live in reality as it is as well as it could be, I recognize a true fact.

For the majority of us, true freedom, true success, truly changing the world… it’s hopeless. It’s a wall against which to beat our heads, to smash in our skulls, all the while knowing that whatever progress we make can be undone. The history of humanity is not huge leaps forward, but incremental steps, with leaden boots.

New technology, new governments, new religions, new ideas – these things shape the world. They are almost inevitably perverted by those seeking fame or power or wealth.

I want none of these things anymore.

I want to make little things better with simple acts of kindness or truth. That’s it. I don’t need to end fascism for all time; human nature dictates that’s an impossibility, certainly in one lifetime. They’ll kill us all first to hold on to their own sick egos.

I don’t need to achieve world peace or be the greatest artist ever to exist. I don’t need to be the Wyld Stallions.

I just need to make my nieces laugh, or help a customer or tell someone behaving poorly, gently, a hard truth.

I need to tell myself hard truths. I need to force my eyes open. I need to have as many eyes as I need to see as much as I can, and I need to keep forcing them open.

I may not change the world. I can change me. I can help in little ways. I can honour truth. Freedom. Beauty. I can leave it better than I found it. I can do my best not to contribute to suffering.

That’s it. That’s the best I can do, and I will probably fail at that as well, often enough to be embarrassed about it.

The world is not my oyster. It just is, and I am within it.

Target: 200 words
Written: 185 words, comic: Romance #1

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