I was deeply in love with the world. It wasn’t something I had; it was a cup of coffee—something I had to brew every morning. It was a deliberate series of delicate steps performed in complete mechanical repetition. And while it was something I relished every day, on some days, even with all my attention on the process, the result was a little bit bitter. It did not matter. There was always tomorrow. There was always going to be another chance. I would love the world still—everything tastes bitter once in a while.
I don’t believe in some god or higher power. I have had no reason to yet, and I haven’t found one for all my searching. I only believed in people—in their potential to be better, in their ability to choose grace, in their trivialities. It was not as easy as it seemed. It was much harder to believe in something you saw every day. The fallibility of people was not something you could ignore, and yet, I believed in them regardless. It was a naive position to hold, but it was the only one I was bent on holding. Gods have it easy with their absence from the affairs of the world—try being a person for a day and see how difficult it is to be good. Then, watch someone be good regardless. There is no better sight.
Goodness—a thank you said softly, an apology for an elbow rubbed off, offering someone a bite from your sandwich, the small talk at the bus stop or in a cab, an unspoken friendship at the bus or a cafe, the way someone stops to pet an animal, the countless jokes and laughter over tea. The shrines of my belief are all around me, and I visit them, one by one, as I ask them about their day, and they tell me they’re trying to do better, and like a believer, I take their word for it. I only wish I could show myself this kindness I so easily extend to others.