College is such a precarious time. Intense opportunities tantalize from all directions, causeways and eddies so hard to navigate... the currents flowing in many ways. Unexpected sandbars. Rocks. Storms and sunken treasures, sunken dreams. Quiet erosion, and the deafening revs of the ocean's engine blast our lives, and sediment, bits of life from all over the world settle, compress, and synthesize into solid stone. On reflective days, we unearth fossils, or the sand blows away to reveal shipwrecks and monuments alike.
The real trick is to become, to remain, not an honorable person, not an honored person, but a thoughtful person, a kind person, a humble person above all. Not to be humble in attaining, or in the learning and experience that should be gathered frantically, carefully stored while it is plentiful and used wisely. No. Not humble in striving, but humble in attitude, to develop a deference to others.
In the ecosystem of life, we can compete with other species, fighting over every last calorie, every shelter, every stream and spring. Or we can cooperate, sharing the resources with others, yet using our own resources to their maximum, and sometimes for others. We must keep focus, nurture drive, and yet remain aware of the needs of our fellows.
I am saying this to myself.
Is it possible to go back to the way things once were? Perhaps not entirely, but it can be done in part. Maybe this is wisdom, to choose things that do not come naturally. Lately, I have been less-than-myself outside the class yet have greedily slurped class time. A symptom of growing confidence, one that has flexed its new growth in not-entirely helpful ways.
I should not feel insecure or inferior in my abilities. But kindness does not only exist in the absence of wisdom. And wisdom never exists in the absence of kindness.