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Requiem for a bleeding heart​

In 100, by Montana on November 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm

David attended college in some groovy times. He studied philosophy and grew out his hair. Soon he began skipping class to join sit-ins protesting his university’s participation in counterinsurgency and chemical-biological weapons research during the war. Then when David became a little too “revolutionary,” his father threatened to pull him out of school.

David had a crisis of conscience.

David made a choice.

He locked away his bleeding heart and tossed the key to focus on his own success.

Now when asked about his college years, he deflects. “Oh, it was nothing. I just participated because everybody did back then.”

  1. Locks are useful but only if you keep the keys!

    • I don’t know what the answer is, but choosing to care only when it’s convenient for you… keys = white privilege? Keys = American privilege?

      • Oh wowowwowowow


        I meant more that it’s important to stay open, or at least openable, always! Perhaps privilege isn’t the key, so much as the lockbox itself: the ability to decide to close off a part of ourselves at will.

  2. Lemme think. As an adolescent I turned off (“locked up”) important, vital parts of myself that cared about earth justice. Because bleeding hurt. But I recently reopened that box. Because now my heart is strong enough to deal with the hurt. Grappling with the fact that the world is forever out of our control is tricky for me— it’s something I gotta remind myself of constantly or else I forget, and then get mad at the late train or crashed iphone or stolen bike light (such delightfully trivial things are out of my control!)

    When i was in india years ago i reached a point where i gave up all hope of doing anything because everything was a mission; and there was freedom in that acceptance. But it’s an antithetical feeling to passion, which is also a vital emotion for me.

    I don’t know how to balance passion and acceptance.

  3. Yeah I think for some people it’s hard to turn off and on caring about certain issues! So accepting that the world is forever out of your control kind of blankets you in a layer of numbness that is helpful for carrying on with everyday life regardless of extraneous circumstances.

    And yes the balance between authentic passion to improve the world and acceptance of the world as it currently exists (for practicality’s sake) is a very tough equilibrium to strike indeed.

    I’m currently trying to understand how to not become completely resigned to the fact that we probably will destroy much of the natural world. Staying passionate enough to fight for the earth despite the obvious obstacles without becoming completely emotionally distraught by blow after blow is too hard for me… I think I have adopted a stance of resigned acceptance that the natural world will look very different. But fighting to steer our future towards a path that still feels somewhat wholesome is, I believe, at least worth fighting for.

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