Wayne Hsiung

Published on:

October 22, 2013

Never Give Up

Wise words from DxE LA organizer Kara Kapelnikova: 

Dear friend,
Though I have never met you, in many ways, I believe we already know each other very well.   Our struggles have not been identical, yet I am sure we have shared many.  The world is a tough place to live in, especially for a person who chooses not to follow the path of least resistance.  This is why I am writing you this letter: to tell you to never give up.
Fear is a weapon used to keep change from happening, effectively halting progress.  Fear comes at you from all directions.  From the government, giant corporations, your teachers, your friends, your family and even yourself.  They will tell you: “you are just one person, what difference could you possibly make?”, “what you’re doing is far too difficult” and “your actions will get you into trouble”.  Sometimes no matter how long you’ve been in the game, you can feel as though you will succumb to those negative thoughts simply because they never stop.  They replay constantly in your mind, dragging you down until you stand petrified — paralyzed by fear.  This is exactly what they want.
You may feel alone.  You may feel hopeless.  You may feel as though the entire world is against you.  You may feel as though giving up would be so much simpler and easier than continuing to fight.  These are feelings every activist has wrestled with.
I won’t lie to you and tell you that these feelings will ever completely disappear.  The truth is, they are always there in the shadows of your mind, waiting for the moment you are most vulnerable to present themselves.  They grow and fester like a disease in your psyche, whose symptoms go unnoticed at first, but in time grow to become unbearable and impossible to ignore.
This is the life you have chosen.  The feeling of loneliness in a crowded room — of existing separate from the rest — is something that will remain constant.  Seeing life as it really is, rather than the façade you were brought up to not question or look past will haunt you at every turn.   It is a life of conflict, of grief, and often of solitude.
But it is also a life of gratitude, joy and boundless love.  It is a life of honesty and integrity.   It is a life characterized by your unwillingness to turn a blind eye to suffering.  It is a life of purpose beyond the self.

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