You look around you and you see people who could have been friends but are not. They don’t reject you, they simply don’t embrace you. They are not bad, they do not wish you ill, it’s only that you do not fit the profile of “friend” they unknowingly use to measure the people they encounter. You, too, opt not to label them friends. You label no one friend. You try to understand the meaning of friendship, but it seems to you that friendship is deeper and more entwined with intellect and emotion than they do. They don’t see that friendship merges acquaintance with family in a stew of love, a broth in which one is willing to offer one’s existence in return for a friend’s happiness. That is love, I suppose. Love dismisses self and, instead, attaches supreme value to “other” in a way that’s inexplicable to those who have not experienced it. Love requires the giver of the emotion to overlook and dismiss his or her own emotion; suicide, which might relieve one’s pain, becomes an impossible option in the face of love, because it would cause pain in one in whom one places more value than his or her own life. Yet there is that perpetual circle of strangling logic; is my presence or my absence the least painful?

These things on my mind suggest I have some issues of my own, I suppose. And I suppose they’d be right. But my pain, if that’s what it is, is far less than the real pain of people who are dealing with gut-wrenching psychological issues. So my little bleat is an inconsiderate whine that deserves nothing but scorn and utter disdain. If people cried more, the world would be a little less parched and dry.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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