We live our lives. Get up in the morning. Brush our teeth. Shave. Have a shower. A quick breakfast. A kiss goodbye. Join the rush hours. Listen to our iPod. Do a job we hope we like. Too busy to stop and look around. No time for lunch. The client and customer can’t wait. We close the office door. Switch off the lights. And head off home. We join the rush hour for our last trip of the day. Read a book. Or the paper. Catch up on the news of the world. We give hugs and kisses when we get home. Eat our food. Bath the kids. Wash the dishes. Do our chores. Flop down in our favourite seat. Watch television. And fall asleep.

We are always so busy. Every day. Every single day. Doing what the man wants us to do. Never stopping. Never looking around. Never taking it in. Just rush in and rush out. No stop. Just go, go, go.

The weekend comes. We had plans. Taking it easy. Doing something with the kids. And the wife. Some family time. But it’s more rush, rush, rush. It’s ballet. It’s dancing. It’s shopping. It’s Gamecube. It’s cleaning the garden. It’s tidying the basement. Painting the porch. Planting some flowers. Mow the lawn. Build a swing. Do the time-sheet. Fill in taxes.

When do we stop and look around? When do we just soak it up? When do we smell the roses? When do we stop and see if we care? When do we have time for living?

Are we still who we wanted to be when we were young? Would we be proud of the person we have become? What do we see when we look at the mirror in the end of the day? Are we full of hate? Are we loving enough? What have we become? Do we like ourselves? Enough?

We all get a bit rough around the edges. A little bit scared. But are we still the same person?

Do you still believe in something?

In something good? Not the bad stuff. Don’t sweat that stuff. Do you still believe in the good stuff? That people are good? That the world is okay? That we can all enjoy each other? In friendship? Do you still believe in your word? Cross your heart and hope to die? In innocence? In just being who you are and want to be? Or have you become burdened by hate, disbelief, disappointment, lies, paranoia, war, money… Have you fallen for what the man told you? Have you given up? Given up on life? The life you knew you would have when you were little? Have you given up little by little and never realize you are giving up everything?

Or are you still fighting for that life you believed in? Know that you can have that? And make it happen for you kids? And their kids? Are you who you want them to become? Or who you tell them you are? Or who they think you are? Who they want you to be?

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Before you go to sleep? Do you like yourself and what you have become?

We make the world. We make our own world.

It reminds me of what Laura said – “I think I’m willing“…

But you know, I wish that I lived in a world where, when someone comes to ask me to help out with R10 for transport because they are stuck, I can freely give. I wish that I lived in the world where I felt safe to give lifts to hitch-hikers and people with broken down cars. Or where I can feel happy giving some change for kids taking up a collection for soccer uniforms or dance uniforms, rather than being worried that the money is going to drugs. Where I can freely give to the lady who asks me for money towards her brother’s funeral or the man who asks me for money for paraffin. Or the old lady from the rurals who comes in to town, only to find she doesn’t have enough money to buy the pre-paid electricity she needs.

I want to live in that world. And the only way I can live in it, is to try.

People are not always honest. People’s intentions aren’t always good. And sometimes giving in these sorts of circumstances just perpetuates the problem. I know this…

But I never want to accept that habitual “no”…

And I am definitely all for wisdom and all for protecting ourselves and our property. Definitely, we can’t be naive.

But you know what, I think I’m willing to lose a cell phone if it means I can spend my life speaking to people rather than brushing them off. Or to find myself played by people with long sob-stories once in a while, if it means I’m sometimes actually meeting people’s needs and making people’s lives better.

I wish there was a formula or a rule book for how to deal with these situations. But there isn’t.
And I know that I can be a bit of a sucker, and I sometimes have a problem saying no. And I know that I mustn’t give from guilt or from being manipulated.

But the great gain of treating people with dignity and giving where I can and feel is best, I think I’m willing to risk a bit, and lose a bit, for that.

Are you willing to risk a bit? To be who you want to be? And what you want the world to be? Laura is.

Look in the mirror. Tonight when you get home. At the end of the day. And ask yourself those questions. Look yourself in the eyes. Don’t blink. And see if you still believe yourself. And if you still believe in yourself.

At the end of the day. Do you like what you see? What you have done? What you have become? Be that person. Care a little. Risk a little. Love a little. Hope a little. Live a little.

Don’t let the man win. Don’t let them win.

Be.

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