“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” – Herman Melville
As a sidenote to this quote, I have to remember that I live by words. They are a music that I can achieve with functioning fingers on a computer keyboard, despite the fact that the same fingers flounder on a flute and sound shrill and unappetizing. I couldn’t convince anyone with that form of music. In the same vein, I have to remind myself to trust the words of others. If I don’t believe those words, especially the kind ones, then I’m stuck with myself. I have a notoriously bad habit of leaving myself last in my own estimations, forgetting that I am the equal of the best work I’ve ever done. I can always improve on that, so I’m not hopeless and people don’t deserve to be alone. It can be a choice, but never a self-imposed punishment.
For this post to attempt a tidy ending I’ll have to give you another Melville quote. This one reminds me that I’m not defined solely by my accomplishments or where I’m from or what my family is like. I can at least remember that I have an interior self that “is not down on any map; true places never are.”