No one is good. Some people are getting better. No one is smart. Some people are learning. No one is kind. But some people are trying, Ringo. They’re trying real hard.
My point is that no one is their ultimate self. We exist only as journeys. We don’t get a lot of time here; throw a handful of confetti in the air to celebrate your arrival and by the time it settles to the ground you’re gone. You have so little time to do anything, so contentment seems so out of place.
I don’t care which thing you do. Which thing you’re trying to improve or get better at. The beauty of the wide world is that there’s someone doing everything. And I can find something to talk about with you, some moment to share, no matter what it is – seeing people grow and strive and try and succeed is one of my favorite things. It’s certainly my favorite thing about being a parent; kids are doing this at light speed all the time.
But I find I have so little to talk about with people who are content. I’m certainly envious of them, in a way. I don’t think I have the capacity to be like that, even though it seems very nice. My entire means of communing with the world is trying to help people – I feel like I have nothing to offer to people who don’t need help. Once someone is successful, I seldom stick around to share the enjoyment of a job well done. I don’t really know what I’d do.
I think the most valuable connections we forge are the ones of shared trajectory. Of mutual help. That’s my incredibly selfish reason for trying to help people where I can – because seeing the best in another human is where I see the best in myself. There are probably all sorts of deep issues there with my need to feel needed or something like that, but I’m certainly not qualified to grapple with those.
But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard.