To be human is to be beautifully flawed
~ October Baby
Whoever said, “People will disappoint you,” is a genius. Truer words have not been spoken. We can be shockingly brutal towards each other. My work has recently put me into contact with more people than ever before in my life. I have heard men verbally abusing their girlfriends, women screaming at their cell phones, and angry parents crossing the all important line that separates discipline from cruelty. If, somehow, every malicious act we inflict on one another left a physical dent on our bodies, we would most assuredly be impossible to recognize.
But then there’s the beauty…
One chilly evening, I watched a young couple cling to one another as if their lives depended on it. They walked closely, side-by-side. He held her hand like he meant it. She looked at him like he was saving her. They were the very picture of love; an indelible snapshot of what we all long for.
Tonight, on a casual stroll along the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, Virginia, I came upon a letter written by a soldier to his wife. In it, he promises when the two reunite, there will be no more wasted moments; that even when they just sit together and do nothing, he will treasure that time like never before. The letter was one of several cast in bronze, seemingly scattered about like the wind had randomly dropped them at the water’s edge. I imagined this young man made it home, rushed into the warmth and comfort of his wife’s arms, and immediately began delivering on his words. Seconds later, I pictured something much different: a young woman, grief-stricken with loss, mourning her husband and the promise of what might have been.
Because we are human, we are flawed. We often take our eye off the dwindling sand in our own hour glass. I suppose a young man at war, facing the threat of death each day, has a perspective you and I do not. Yet, we can read his words and insert them into our own lives. We can vow to fully embrace the people around us. We can hold dear the time we have left. We can promise to rid ourselves of wasted moments.
If only we could better express our desire to live better; to be better. If only we could write down our greatest fears, cast them in bronze and scatter them about. Then we would see that we’re not so different; that we’re in this together. We’re all human…