Contemplations while waiting for the riot not to reach me

  1. Something terrible is happening somewhere in the world, even if everything is quiet and fine where I am.
  2. There are people laboring to make whatever terrible things are happening more terrible.
  3. Becoming a member of either group doesn’t happen by default. Taking action doesn’t in and of itself make me helpful or terrible; not taking action doesn’t in and of itself either.
  4. There are people trying to make the terrible things better.
  5. I need to decide which of those people I want to be.
  6. Always rest when I need to.
  7. Never forget that I need to.
  8. By myself, I can’t prevent terrible things.
  9. By myself, I can’t make things terrible happen.
  10. Darkness doesn’t make anything or worse. It’s how I approach it that matters.
  11. Light doesn’t make anything better or worse. It’s how I approach it that matters.
  12. Existence is more difficult for some people than for others.
  13. I can be a person who tries to narrow that disparity, or I can be a person who tries to exploit it.
  14. Remember to breathe slowly whenever I can.
  15. I need to stop convincing myself that I know what’s going to happen, because I don’t.
  16. If I think I know what’s going to happen and I end up being right, I need to realize that was likely just luck.
  17. Everything that happens—inside me, around me, in the farthest reaches of existence—is far more complicated that I can imagine.
  18. Each choice I make makes a difference in the world.
  19. I’ll never fully know what that difference will be. I’ll  never know how much or how little my actions matter.
  20. So let that shit go.
  21. If I make a choice and things turn out the way I want, that doesn’t mean I determined the outcome. Correlation does not equal causation.
  22. Each moment, I make the most important decision of my life, which is who I’m going to be right then and there, and why.
  23. The most important decision I make about my life does isn’t what I want to achieve.
  24. Each moment, when I make the most important decision, I need to remember again to breathe slowly.
  25. Where I end up in my life is not in my control.
  26. Who I end up being in my life is in my control.
  27. I can choose to try to do good, but if I’m dishonest–especially with myself–about who I am, my best intentions will likely go awry.
  28. When I’m sitting up at night, thinking that I can keep bad things from happening or make good things happen, I need to lighten up.
  29. I can be in the world as I truly am, or I can deform who I truly am. Neither is easy, but there’s no third way.
  30. Everything I’ve put on this list is only my best guess. I really don’t know much.
  31. Except about the breathing thing. Don’t forget that.

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