All of us have our little crusades. Ideas we believed in so strongly, we could fight over them. Some end up burning the world down for them. Most only lose some sleep. I was among the latter. All I could do was lose sleep. I was never one to fight. Perhaps, the way I lived my life was my way of fighting: my complete disregard for the opinion of others, even though the words managed to gnaw into my conscience. There was no bravery in blatantly ignoring what others had to say. It was the childish way of living our own truth. The truth was we lived, breathed and spent our days with other people. The trick was to let everything get under your skin and then get used to it being there. If we could live how we wished to with a thousand critics screaming inside our very heads, we could brave anything the world had to throw at us. It was in finding the music amidst the noise. There was always music in the noise.
What was I fighting for? I often forget. There was a lot at stake. I had never been one to conform. Lately, I have been waging war against the idea of more. But I did not march around with a banner and a strong argument against the collective pursuit of it. On most days, I was fighting for a kinder, softer world. The truth is, I did not know how to fight. I was an artist; I knew how to exhibit. My life was an example of beliefs, a museum of ideas. The peculiarity of this method was not lost on me: it often took years for your arguments to take hold, for your way to be understood, but you could not ask someone to be kind, you could not teach a child to be soft; you had to be kind first, and you had to be soft yourself. It was the classic literary advice: to show, not tell. It was how I lived my life and how I waged my wars.
The way I carried myself was the strongest argument I could put forth, and so that was what I did. It occurred to me early on how not everyone rallies to your cause. It’s often only a few people who walk up to you. I learned to take the few and live in the image of how I wanted the world to be. When no one joined in, which was often, I learned to go alone, go all the way. It was the only way I knew how to fight—by myself—and sometimes, I won.