I hate myself on days like this.
I confess, I have longings.
Some are very simple and basic. Many will claim them as impractical and idealistic, even absurd.
Like, I have longings to be young again, and to have a nice cup of coffee with a pastry or donuts without worries about its healthiness or origins, longings to walk around, preferably on a warm, pleasant beach, smiling and nodding in friendliness to other people, who simply nod and smile back in friendliness.
I have longings for success, comfort, happiness, fun, and security in all its forms.
I have longings for freedom, equality, liberty and justice.
I’ll bet those longings are shared with many others.
I bet many people on the right and left share these longings.
I bet many politicians and CEOs share these longings, along with teachers, minorities, refugees, shoppers, consumers, teenagers, the elderly, the rich and the poor.
The nut is in the details of how we get satisfy these longings.
When the United States was founded, it was another step as part of a long walk to satisfy these longings, and the founders walked on the backs of many others. We’re shocked, angry and dismayed by their declaration that all men are created equal even while they were stealing land others already lived upon, deciding women are less deserving, and so are people who were slaves, because slaves were slaves; they were property. That was a compromise. A good one? Hell, no, I hear some shout. We’re still arguing it. It was a different era, with different values, views and principles.
I have sisters and friends who wish the protests going on in the U.S. to be over because, well, the elections are over, and isn’t that what this is all about? They have longings for a happier, more relaxed life.
But the protests and elections are part of a process. Both are symptoms of desires and larger arguments about what is right and wrong, and whether freedom, liberty and equality is even possible for everyone. Aren’t we humans simply animals at the heart of the matter, and shouldn’t it be that the strongest shall rule and take what is theirs by right of strength and power, whether it’s physical or intellectual prowess, military force, or the power of our gods?
These are arguments about longings and principles, perceptions, hopes, dreams, emotions and frustrations, resentments, hostilities and dreams that go back to separations derived from where we live, what we speak, our differences and similarities, all the way back to the most basic and fundamental questions of why we’re here, how we came to be here, and what we want to become.
I hate myself on days like this because I have longings. I want to go write. I want to enjoy my comfortable routine of writing fiction, dreaming of breaking out, working toward the horizon that I’ve created for myself to keep myself going while staving off bitterness, weariness and depression.
Some will read this and remark to their screens to me through their screen, you are a self-indulgent idiot.
I can’t argue that I’m not. I know too well the limits of my talents, intelligence and abilities. I tell myself that if I try harder and persist, promising myself, “I can do better,” and that, if I do, I can overcome my shortcomings.
Which is what these longings are all about, really. You understand.
And I hate myself on days like this, because others have longings, and I think of myself as one person but part of a larger body trying to make a difference. So I set aside my personal longings to take up the longings of others, those longings that were there long before I was born as an American, and march for what we believe is right against an agenda that we believe is wrong.
History will not judge us. History is written by the winners. It’ll be the winners who judge us. If we lose, we’ll probably be forgotten. Hell, if we win, we’ll probably be forgotten as well.
That’s the nature of being part of a larger longing.