Sometimes when I start to feel hopeless about the world, about climate change, weaponized ignorance, and interlocking systems of injustice and petty cruelty that create white supremacy, male supremacy, and toxic religion, I have a vision of what happened before I was born.
And I’m not saying I believe this is actually the way God or consciousness works, but I have this image of God giving me—giving all of us—a choice about whether or not to be born in this age, out of all the ages of history. I imagine the sales pitch: “Going into this world will be, in many ways, like running into a house on fire.”
“I’m not asking you to be a hero,” God says. “But to be a human. You will be part of a team. And the whole thing may collapse on you. And you’ll probably fail. Will you love this world? To pour out your life because you love it so? Because that’s what we do, you know. That’s what love does.”
I feel this vision when I get to be in communion with prison abolitionists and local farmers and deconstructing clergy and scientists and therapists and freedom fighters and activists and scholar-reformers. On good days, I feel like maybe we chose this, to be here, doing this work in this house on fire, because it was the time that needed us.
I’m not saying we chose this mess or chose to suffer — I think. But I think for humanity to reach maturity, some of us understand that we have to take responsibility for shit, even if it isn’t our shit.
And on good days when I catch this vision, I also realize that there is so much to love in this house on fire: my amazing family and friends, of course, but also animals and plants and music and beauty. And on good days I feel like the luckiest son of bitch in the world, and I’m glad you chose this time to live, too.