Thursday, February 4, 2016


When I was a child, the people who knew me best assumed I could and would do great things. I assumed it myself. But I’ve done nothing.

Partly this was because I could do too much. I could paint and write, sing and dance, compose music and play it, all with equal facility. 

People told me I could do anything I wanted to do, and asked me what I wanted to do. I answered painting or writing, singing or dancing - whichever I happened to be doing at the moment - but when I asked myself, the answer was none of these things. I wanted to change the world for the better, and painting or writing, singing or dancing were no more to me than means to that end. Perhaps if I had taken them more seriously, treated them as ends in themselves, I might now be a successful painter, writer, singer or composer; but that wasn’t enough for me then and it wouldn’t be enough for me now.

When I was I a child, I wanted to change the world for the better; not because I was unhappy - on the contrary, I was a happy child, comparatively speaking – but because I knew most people were unhappy most of the time, and I wanted to help them. I still do, now more than ever, because they seem so much more unhappy now than when I was a child; but I’ve accepted that I can’t. No one can.

Not because one person can’t change the world. There have been, from time to time, persons who did change the world, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse; but this is not one of those times. 

Our society, the world we’ve built for ourselves, seems to have acquired a life and a will of its own, and its will is destructive and self-destructive. One person is no more than a cog in this infernal machine, and can do nothing to stop it.

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