So grateful you’re able to do this right now – it’s comforting to so many people and we are not incognizant of how many other priorities you must have. I have an inkling this is a milestone year for you. I don’t know why… maybe I’m off by a year one way or the other but it just feels that way. Maybe because you moved five years ago and it felt like a tectonic shift at the time. It hardly matters. But I’d love to know whether you still hold by your advice for the ages for those of us moving into our next half decade.
This is a milestone year for everyone. We are experiencing a once-in-a-century pandemic while actively engaged in waves of civil and political unrest amplified by the single most important election in the history of the American experiment.
November is an inflection point, and regardless of how the tension is released, things are going to get worse before they get better. 2025 will be as foreign to us as 2015 feels now, and getting there will be brutal. It’s going to hurt, and as per usual, the people who deserve to feel pain will mostly go unscathed. Justice is rare, and peace is more expensive than war. That won’t change no matter how much we refine the system, because the human condition is inherently flawed.
Each of us comes with the original sin of an amygdala that is too large and a prefrontal cortex that is too small. We come pre-wired for brutality and irrational belief. We do our best, but we are painfully and permanently limited, and we are each and collectively destined to fail. Entropy is the only law, decay is the only certainty, and death is the only inevitability.
Still, we wake up every morning and fight our battles. Some days we might even win, but we should never let that be our purpose. Winning and losing — that is to say, any endeavor with a scorecard or an account balance — can be an occupation, perhaps even an obligation, but you will never know contentment if you allow winning to be your purpose.
Wherever you are in your stage of life, whatever battles you are fighting, I wish for you to find the gift of acceptance and the ability to let go. The point is to keep fighting as hard as you can while simultaneously embracing the concept of surrender. To be clear, I do not mean surrender to authority. Never surrender to authority, as that is where you will find war. What I mean is surrender to inevitability. That is where you will find peace.
The next five years are coming. Not all of us will make it, and that’s okay. Monsters will thrive and horrible shit will happen to good people, and still, it’s all okay. It’s not right, but that’s not the point, and besides, that’s just you keeping score.
Just do your part. Find acceptance. Fight as hard as you can for as long as you can and then let go. I promise, it will be enough.