Consider, for a moment, a human life.
No, not like that. You’re thinking in the abstract. Try harder.
Think about right now. The chair in which you’re sitting, the screen on which you’re reading, the friend who posted the link that led you to this article. How many chairs have you sat on before this one? How many screens? How many friends?
Deeper, now. Who taught you how to tie your shoes? In first grade, when your aunts and uncles asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up--what did you tell them? Is that where you are now? Do you wish it was?
Your childhood bedroom: maybe there was more than one. Maybe you shared it. The stuffed animals, the books, the bedspread. Think about all of your vacations, and beyond that, all your nights at home, the ones that you can’t remember in any sort of detail, because you took them for granted.
Your old pets. Every single throwaway conversation, every glance in the street. Every lesson you learned in school. Every restaurant you visited, every meal you ate. Every movie you watched. Every book you read.
And you’re still thinking too narrowly. These are your experiences, but not your life. Your life is this:
Both world wars. Every country you can name. Every sci-fi film you ever watched. Every president, every dictator, every war hero, every artist: their significance to you, is unique. No one else in the world will ever understand Frida Kahlo in the precise way that you do, just as no one else will ever comprehend exactly how you feel when you step outside at night and realize that it’s started to rain.
We label ourselves and box ourselves in, but we are more than we think. We are the very boxes we are constructing. For every time you thought that someone was better than you, it was only because you could envision that better person. Because being better--and being worse--was inside of you, in your mind, in that indescribable space that isn’t quite your heart.
All of that--and I know, it’s a lot--hold all of that in your brain, if you can.
Double it again.
You’re now about halfway to comprehending the magnitude of life that was lost in Las Vegas this week.
I don’t want to speak at length right now. There are other places to find the facts--the internet is full of news articles. I just want you to consider--really, truly attempt to comprehend--what has happened in our country. Again.
According to the White House, now is “not the time” for a debate about gun control.
For fifty-nine people, time no longer exists.