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Quote: Virtues

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The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Why share this quote? Why did it have an impact on me?

The last words hit me the hardest. I sometimes feel destroyed in this world. I feel like I give so much of myself to whatever I’m pursuing at the time and sometimes it’s just exhausting. Truth can be difficult, hard to express, and hard to bare what it means to speak it.

Sometimes I know I say things that make me sound like a dick, but I don’t mean it that way. Even that sentence I don’t really like though, it feels like I’m trying to explain why I’m mean sometimes and I don’t think I should have to. I’m always questioning everything though, maybe I do need to explain why I’m saying what I’m saying sometimes.

I like to think that questioning is part of what makes me somewhat virtuous.

I feel like I’m seeking truth and beauty, trying to be open, honest, vulnerable, and take a risks – and I think those are all good things. But the truth can be painful, it wouldn’t be a saying (“the truth hurts”), if we didn’t feel it, at least at times. But is there value then also in pain; in opening ourselves up to the the pain that comes with acknowledging the painful things?

My mind wanders to climate change, environmental degradation, the damage of consumerism and capitalism. And I realize that I am an active participant in those systems at times and that hurts. That sucks. I don’t want to do those things, but it is a truth no matter how much I try to ignore it. So, do we have to open ourselves to those sorts of pains in order to become better?

I think so. And it can be devastating.


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