Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ocean Vuong's Daily Choice

From this interview with Tricycle:
The thing I fear most is that one day I might wake up without hope. At the moment, though, I’m hopeful.

We see bombs being dropped. We see bullets being put into bodies, all from fear. It is a powerful energy. But compassion is an energy, too. With it, we’ve built miraculous things: cathedrals, temples, schools, and shelters. We’ve made extraordinary works of art. Every day when we wake up, we have a choice. Will we choose fear or will we choose compassion and love? These are very strong, but I’ve learned in my short 28 years that anger and fear exhaust me, whereas if I do work out of love and compassion and kindness, I’m actually nourished. It’s a sustainable energy.

There are days where I say, “I’m too terrified, I’m too tired, I’m too depressed, I can’t do it.” Those days happen. But my goal is to always return to the sustainable resource of compassion. I think my best poems come out of compassion rather than fear.
(Underlining mine.)

Over on The Tools Facebook Group, based on the work of Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, we've been discussing ways of accessing better and worse sources of motivation and energy, Higher Powers and Part X. The question there is, as here, not only how you feel in the moment when you take your energy from one source or another, but whether advancing on your fears diminishes them while simply reacting based on fear diminishes you, and whether acting from compassion renews you and engages you with life.

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