Lord, how I wish that was true!
I commented (after several others), that ignorance can and does survive; it has always; it will always, forever and ever amen. His subsequent comments were sweet, really, and full of optimism and idealism. He felt that I was being a Negative Nelly. I said I'm simply a realist. I've lived in a world full of ignorance and intolerance my whole life, it was that way before I was born, and I believe it will be that way long after I die. I went on to say that I believe humans will destroy the planet long before we ever become a truly enlightened race.
And I believe that completely.
I also explained that I believe there are many, many intelligent, good-hearted people doing good work around the world. I try to be one of those people. I raised my daughter to be one of those people. My realistic view of the world doesn't mean I don't try to change my part of it, to make it a better place.
His last comment, again sweet and full of optimism, told me to be brave... he told me not to let fear win.
Be brave. Don't let fear win.
I let that sink in for a moment. I thought of all the things I've dealt with in the last 20 years. I thought about all the times I've had to will myself to be brave, in order to just get out of bed in the morning, just to do what had to be done. And you know what I realized?
I ain't askeerd a nuthin' no mo.
I've dealt with death and depression and illness and divorce. I'm living with cancer. I've raised an amazing kid all by myself, with woefully inadequate funds. I've been out of work and underemployed. I've had relationships I thought were rock-solid, relationships I thought I couldn't live without, simply evaporate without explanation. I've felt alone and stranded and completely stuck in some dark places, both literally and figuratively.
But here I am - upright - looking forward to the next phase of my life.
In looking at that list of difficulties, I realized that while I have certainly been afraid - so very afraid - I'm not anymore. Because I made it through, that's why. Oh, I bear the battle scars for sure, and there are still some open wounds, but they will heal. They are healing. I am healing.
And for the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say there's no fear. My heart feels open, my head feels focused, and my whole being feels ready for the big things coming my way. Good things... good things I'll let you in on over time.
And if some of the stuff heading toward me isn't so good? Well, I'll handle it... just like I've handled everything up 'til now.
Because I ain't askeerd a nuthin'.