I wasn’t able to work a really fabulous quote from Autumn by Ali Smith into my write up of the book, so here it is for some Monday thoughtfulness:

It’s a question of how we regard our situations, […] how we look and see where we are, and how we choose, if we can, when we are seeing undecidedly, not to despair and, at the same time, how best to act. Hope is exactly that, that’s all it is, a matter of how we deal with the negative acts towards human beings by other human beings in the world, remembering that they and we are all human, that nothing human is alien to us, the foul and the fair, and that most important of all we’re here for a mere blink of the eyes, that’s all. But in that Augenblick there’s either a benign wink or a willing blindness, and we have to know we’re equally capable of both, and to be ready to be above and beyond the foul even when we’re up to our eyes in it. So it’s important […] not to waste the time, our time, when we have it.

Easy to talk about, easy to say, but not so easy to do, eh? How to be “above and beyond the foul” and how to not waste time, how to not despair, and how to choose hope — how does one do this not just sometimes but all the time? I don’t know about you but I can’t do it all the time and because I can’t, I expect most people can’t, which is why I think compassion is also important and necessary. But it isn’t easy either. We all fail. Why is being kind to others who also fail so hard? This is possibly a rhetorical question. It possibly has no answer. Or many.

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