People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster”James Baldwin
Isn’t it ironic, the forces that cause us to rise, are the same forces that cause us to fall. A man who is gentle is a man who is weak. But a man who is gentle is a man who can understand. A window that allows light to shine into a room brings the heat of the day. It is the same window that allows the cold chill to seep into the room on a winter night.
You see, the opening in the man’s heart, like the panes in the window allows all that good to come in. This is however dependent upon the conditions. What are the conditions on the other side of the window? Are they fair? Are they unfair? What are the conditions that lie outside of the man? Will they bring goodness into the heart, or will climate weather away the kindness? Only to plant seeds of discontent, victimization, and lack.
“Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose”Baltasar Gracian
For a person that has nothing to lose is unrestrainable. But to what end? What will become the unquenchable conquest of this person? This depends on the conditions. In times of warmth, the window is welcome. We bask in its light and give thanks to its presence. In times of peace and abundance, we alike welcome the warmth of a gentle man. But it gets cold in the wintertime. Winter can be cold and harsh. Gentle men are discarded in a ruthless and indiscriminate manner. Abundance is but a memory, and the cold pushes its way into our inner sanctuary. What then becomes of the eternal flame that is nothing to lose?
This is when the window becomes a nuisance to us. This is when we pull the drapes and attempt to shut ourselves in. But we can not stay inside, not forever. We will be subject to the weather. The gentle men that you once knew will have transformed into something that you could not imagine, or he will have withered away to nothing.
Nothing to lose is the torch that lights the path for humanity. Sometimes that light helps us to ascend a path to unfathomable heights. Our greatest achievements as humans are such because we don’t know how to stop. What’s to lose? Climb higher? The fact that we have this trait is inconceivable. Its power is immense. We are subject only to our own personal limitations. But with great power comes great responsibility, but what is a responsibility to a beast.
“Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.”Chris Hedges
What goes up must come down, however. Remember, we don’t know how to stop. We don’t know how to stop climbing, but we don’t know how to stop digging either. This is a very unsettling problem. The power that lies within us to achieve, is too easily reversed into the power that will destroy us all. What one will do to achieve in a climate of abundance has been demonstrated to be unlimited. But what will we do to survive in a climate of scarcity?
Scarcity transforms the positive power of nothing to lose into a monster. There is only one thing that can extinguish the internal flame that is nothing to lose. Death. I told you it was a twisted beautiful thing. We try until we die. When we stop trying, we die. We don’t know how to fail, because we don’t know how to quit. Whether that means working on a farm or stealing food to feed our family. When won’t give up, whether noble or nefarious? We will fight for our survival, it is innate.
“The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”James Baldwin
We should pay attention to the temperature outside the window. The flame will remain lit inside all of us no matter the weather outside. The question is, when will winter come? Or has it already arrived? We can’t all live in Southern California.