My vital thoughts for the New Year and beyond

Looking back, not just at this year, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude towards all the people I’ve met along. So beautifully complex our lives. Such powerful statements of human existence we have become.

Suffering has been a catalyst of our transformation. A type of pressure that brought diamonds into existence and people into the truth. A simple truth, that we are here for a brief moment only.

The days are long but the years are short.

While life’s meaning is nowhere to be found except inside our own hearts, and while many lives don’t offer the luxury of producing such words.

While I’m humbled by the privilege, and while I’m haunted by the constant burden this brings with it, I acknowledge the simple fact that my heart has given the biggest importance to one thing.

Just one impossibly hard, endless and of singular ultimate importance: helping others.

Now, this statement demands a sincere confession.

I am not as brave as others who leap out of their chairs to go to places of conflict and suffering and offer help to people who go through the darkest of what humanity is capable of. Those people are heroes.

I’ve given up on that battle to do my part in winning the war. And it’s ultimately not a war of bodies but a war of the mind. Something that goes deeper than bombs going off, it goes to the essence of the choices we are offered as humans.

Fear or love.

Fear tricks us into believing we’re worthless without winning, being in total control, perfect and powerful. It even tricks us into believing that we can live forever and that we know the ultimate truth of why we’re here and how we should live. It puts us on a path of destruction, control and ultimately total disappointment.

Love of everything ennobles our souls and enables us to truly enjoy life. To find the fine glimmers of beauty even in the most darkest of places. And ultimately to live a life that feels as an accomplishment not as a disappointment.

The choice between fear and love is always there. At every step of our lives we are confronted with it.

It’s a pill we have to take daily. One or the other. One pill poisons and the other sets us free.

This is what I do around me. I remind people of the choices.

As the only child of factory workers who have made huge sacrifices, I’m truly grateful. My parents are nothing short of heroes. I can only wish to be as they are moving forward. And while most of the year all three of us live apart, in different cities we feel as close and united towards our goals as ever.

I can name the exact moments when my life could have gone sideways in a spiralling hell.

But it hasn’t.

I’d like to say it was because of some grand conscious decision but it was truly luck. The type of luck that emerges out of thousands upon thousands unconscious decisions made daily. A majority out of love.

I’ve been stupid with a lot of things. But I’ve learned from most of them. Some lessons I’ll have to revise and some I’ll keep forever fresh in my mind.

Being born is in and of itself a miracle. There’s such an impossible probability of being born as “you” that living your entire life constantly laughing of joy could be a reasonable way to go about your life. We’re all incredibly lucky to even exist in the first place.

I think remembering that we’re going to die is the most important way to see the big picture of life while in the midst of it. Always seeing the big picture is hard.

But crucial.

Can you remember how you were before you were born?

Well, that’s the exact state you’re going to be in after you die. In a sense, you’re going back to how “you” were before.

In fact, we’ve been non-existent for far longer and will non-exist for even more than we actually will be alive. This should be a comforting thought. And all the more, make the most out of our life while helping it be a decent place for those living after us.

I’m a skinny, big nosed, funny looking, privileged, grateful, east-European, white, male. This is more than enough for a good life. Endlessly grateful, looking forward to being with you on the path of life and making things better.

Like our parents and grand-parents before us.

The days are long but the years are short.

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