👀 The sun's setting on 2023
#388 | To all the lives we couldn't save
"I feel like I don't have enough to show for all the years I've been alive", lamented a friend with a late 20s birthday coming up in the first week of January.
Although I disagree with her statement about herself, I know that many of us, at various stages of life, have some version of this thought over and over again.
Some people seem to have so much to show for their time on Earth. Landing great jobs, starting successful businesses, finding perfect partners, visiting the most sought-after destinations and sampling the latest trending cuisine seem to be everyday affairs for them. (Note: If I sound resentful and jealous, it's because I am).
I often wonder whether I can ever be one of them. But then I remind myself that they must have those thoughts, too.
The truth is that we live in a reality where powerful governments and "civilised societies" openly support genocide, and corporations are egged on to pollute and ravage the planet for its resources. And even the most hopeful among us know that not much is likely to change in the coming decades. This is the reality we have created, and this is the reality that we keep feeding into.
In this reality, heartbreak and despair are inevitable. Pain is perpetual. The ones who can actually do something about it won't. As for the rest of us, we'll lament about our own perceived failures. Because it's so much easier to ponder our personal shortcomings than it is to wrap our heads around all that's wrong with the world.
And maybe that's okay. Maybe this is how we make sense of it all. As Mary Oliver put it (in a way only Mary Oliver can), there is only ever one life we can truly save- our own.
Every hour spent alive and kicking is a testament to that undying spirit of survival, even if it doesn't make for an important-sounding LinkedIn update.
With that, I leave you with the last thing of 2023- a website that livestreams a random sunset somewhere in the world.
See you again in the new year.
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