It isn’t easy to see the good in people these days; they don’t get many opportunities to show you. We each of us do small kindnesses for our friends and our family, with the occasional big gesture when it’s warranted, and we don’t give ourselves credit for being capable of much more than that. We retreat into our own lives, desperate to preserve the precarious balance that we’ve achieved to keep us going, and poised to protect it against anything that threatens to disturb it, or bring it into question. It sounds bleak, but it isn’t; it’s just 21st century living. It isn’t easy.
We all have our dreams, but they are often sacrificed in the name of survival, of paying bills and getting mortgages and putting kids through school. They are put aside for another, better time, a “one day” when they’ll be possible; we stash them away, and they often fester and make us bitter and defensive. We are all too easy with the criticism, all too ready to dismiss other people’s dreams, to belittle them so they don’t loom over us, mocking us with their out-of-reach possibilities. We respond with fear or anger or both, because we perceive them as attacks on our own choices and the dreams we keep secret in our heads.
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