Today, I offer you this.
It’s a difficult, even painful gift to give. It’s a soothing and beautiful gift to receive.
It’s the basis of meaningful friendship and the key to fulfilling our purpose as humans.
It’s also a skill. Meaning: it can be taught and improved and built up in one another. It can be sharpened most of all by our own suffering. Which sucks, since I’d so much rather learn through Ted talks and cute animated videos. And it only grows when I allow it. Which is hard, because it will inevitably be uncomfortable. And we’re so very good at avoiding uncomfortable.
Having received this many times, I can tell you it makes all the difference. It’s something I have great capacity for, now more than ever. But it’s also something I have failed at spectacularly before. Because it’s easier to minimize, to discount and disbelieve, to compare, to rush, and keep everything pleasant and superficial.
Pleasant and superficial has its place, but it never made anything better.
The cure for what ails us as a species.