To Youth, Letter I

To youth, in whatever form it takes,

Your parents did a very rude thing, giving birth to you. Without asking your permission, they gave you life, with all the prizes and punishments that come along with it. They destined you to an eternity–at least the only eternity of which you can conceive of with the consciousness of the human body–of unfairness, hardship, and unpleasantness. Not that the entirety of this eternity will be unfair, hard, and unpleasant, but those themes will be there. And nearly every time they happen, you will wonder what the cause was: was it God? Was it another person? Was it chaos? Was it random? Was it fate? Was it me?

It is this last question is one you will carry you entire life; it will never go away. Learn now to accept that every decision you make, and every decision which is made for you, will always make you question yourself. You will question who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to be. You will wonder if you are good enough, or bad enough, or sometimes enough at all. You will spend an entire lifetime trying to figure out if it’s about you.

The answer is No. Your consciousness points you toward a view of the world which is focused on you. You are incapable of ever understanding the conscious experience of anyone else completely, and so the bias in your brain makes you incredibly self-absorbed. This, thankfully, is completely normal.

The other thing to be thankful for is that because your brain is biased this way, it means you will often question yourself when you have no reason to. You will question yourself when someone leaves your life, when you lose a job, when something breaks in your physical or emotional world, when you do something for someone else, or when you pass the situation by where you might have acted. Most of the time, the doubts you feel are not about you, and you can over time begin to realize that your bias is a bias (because you won’t believe me, and that’s okay). If you accept that nearly every time, you will ask yourself was it me? or was it my fault? or some other derivative, you can start to dismiss the question, by simply saying “No.”

This no is powerful, because repeatedly allowing yourself not to be at fault for occasions in which you do not have fault (rather than personalizing situations in which you are more or less blameless) will teach you that you are okay. The universe does not revolve around you, though your consciousness thinks it does. You cannot at this moment change the face of the planet by accident, as that kind of power and influence take practice and time to achieve. You can simply be, accepting that sometimes you will be at fault, but most of the time you will not, and the person you are is reflected in the proportion between the two. Every other human is at fault sometimes and others not, and every other human is okay. You are okay, as long as you too are human.

Life will be a battle. There will be days when you feel much more at blame, and maybe days when you really are more at blame. Take those and adjust behavior accordingly. If the you that you are requires calibration, by all means calibrate, but know that you are still you no matter how much you change. Accept your you-ness, and get on with making the world a better place for others. The minute you can let go of the complete self-absorption of your consciousness is the minute the world becomes a malleable place you will change for the better. We all need you to do this, so please, let’s get started together.



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