Desperately Seeking How

When we are hungry enough, we will hunt. Not because we want to, but because we must. When it becomes a matter of survival, we won’t think twice about using your bow, to shoot our own arrow into the last remaining prey on earth so that we may eat. If you are too weak, to timid, too kind, they will come and take your bow for themselves, and they will not look back to see what’s become of you.

Unfortunately this is how the world was created to be. Survival of the fittest. Have you ever felt so desperate for something from this life that you could relate to this? Desperate for something to happen? To change? To come to fruition? To take affect? Maybe a special moment you’ve been hoping for and you’d give anything for it?  Its a cruel world sometimes.  So many vultures sharpening their claws to watch us fail, or watch for our most weak, vulnerable, exposed moment- so they can swoop in with the “I told you so’s” and the haughty arrogance of someone who has never stumbled, or wanted something so badly that they opened their chest up and showed their beating heart to the whole world. Desperation. I think its a universal language. Everybody understands having it, and everybody understands the feelings of why. Different as they are, the reasons that lead us to feel desperation for something are not as important as the feeling itself- not a single person can be spared this feeling at some point. Ever see a toddler lock eyes on a huge scoop of ice cream in their vicinity, that say doesn’t belong to them or their adult, and their whole body goes into fits as if pure gold is being dangled just out of reach? That’s desperation.

Thankfully, this world is not just cruel, it’s also a compassionate one. There are good people who genuinely want to see others succeed, because they recognize that the true measure of your success is achieved when lifting others up on outstretched wings; not trampling them underfoot upon liftoff. I am convinced more and more these days, that the difference in perspective has everything to do with who we surround ourselves with. Are you in a circle of hunters who would just as soon trample over you, while snatching your bow to get what they need for themselves? Or maybe take the credit for your success? Maybe they are the kind of circle who tend to show up just in time to rub your face in the dirt you just fell down in, but were nowhere to be found moments before, to warn you of the stump. Or do you instead have intentional friends, supporters, uplifters? Folks who genuinely want to see you become the best version of yourself by showing you the best version of themselves. People who would stick a red flag in the stump as they passed it, or maybe as they brushed themselves off and stood back up, so that their mistakes became your grace.

Its a funny thing, survival. The very word seems to suggest singularity. A conquest, a goal perhaps, designed for only one winner. What if surviving in fact merely meant choosing the right supporters in your circle so that should there ever be a need, a desperation, a hunger to succeed, or just keep going; that you would have enough love in your corner to carry you along? Whether you were too tired, or weak, or just felt unsure if you could go it alone; what if surviving really meant knowing you have those people in this life surrounding you, who love you enough to carry you with them to the winner’s circle where there is a bountiful harvest.

There is plenty at the end for all of us. Either we believe that, or we live in fear that there isn’t. Deciding which one of these to put our faith in determines how, not if, we will succeed in this life. We can either be a gatherer, or a hunter. Gatherers walk alongside each other, knowing there is plenty and that they need not worry about being outpaced. Hunters, well, they hunt. Both know desperation. Both are hungry.

bow and arrow

Photo: Marina Abramovic and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York