There’s some causes that require a valiant effort, a sacrifice only to do what you think is right. It’s the noblest of causes—toil based on conviction. Men who dedicate their heart and character for all they know and love stand above heroes.
Who doesn’t believe they’re doing that?
Sometimes things don’t work. Occasionally, all you worked for falls flat on its face. Most of those times, you say, “Well, at least I tried.”
There’s a problem with that phrase.
Sometimes, there’s no point in trying and the heroic thing to do is accept it and do what you can with what you have. Realizing that there are things beyond your grasp, far from your strength and courage, is tantamount to your survival.
There are some things you cannot explain.
Take this one for example: life.
You don’t know for certain there isn’t a God. You can’t know for certain there isn’t one. You don’t know if we’re all not a dream of a beetle. You have no idea—with complete certainty—that the moment before the one you’re in now even existed.
The only people who know these answers are dead.
All you have is what you think you know. There’s no concrete way to prove our existence because all we know is what we’re told. History, language, your birth, religion, and the rest of the world that you’ve never experienced on your own could all be a lie.
The only people who know that answer are probably lying to you.
You could be in some really messed up Truman Show-like experiment. You could still be hooked into the Matrix. You could be doing some kind of dumb version of Quantum Leap.
You be on drugs right now. You might be a coma. You may be sleeping. You could have such significant brain impairments that you began imaging life as it would have been, but one day you forgot where it started and kept on not knowing the dream wasn’t real. You know, some Inception shit.
The only person who knows that is hallucinating, or may only exist in your mind.
You may be God Himself.
The only person who knows that thinks he’s God.
See? You’ll never be able to figure out all of that.
The only way to understand life is to know everything from beginning until end and you’re nowhere near either.
So, if you spend your entire life trying to figure it out, you’ll fail.
It is impossible to figure out life. Anyone who thinks they’ve got it all figured out is either dead, lying, a figment of your imagination, hallucinating, or God. So, before you become distraught that you can never solve the puzzle of life—including most things contained in it—know that this is fact, not fiction.
This isn’t a movie.
If you’re spending all of your time trying to understand things, you can stop right now.
Life isn’t a car that won’t start. It’s not how fast you need to go to clear those stairs. It isn’t what you did last night. (NOTE: Not knowing what you did last night means you might have a life, which is important)
Life isn’t something you can figure out.
There are problems in life you’ll never be able to solve.
There’s no point in trying anymore.
Really, there isn’t.
Kurt Vonnegut, a great mind with a great man attached to it, wrote that “we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.” He’s absolutely right.
If there are so many things in life we can’t reason—although we delude ourselves into thinking we have—no matter how much time we’ve devoted to it, why do we worry about them?
Fame. Money. Power. Validation. Respect. Pain. Love.
No wait, take love off that list.
Love is worth the effort. Love is worth the trouble, but only a fool would ever waste a moment trying to understand it.
Another great mind, Andew W.K., wrote (on his Twitter account) that “you don’t have to understand something to enjoy it, and you don’t have to like something to love it.”
Trying to understand anything we love, or why we do the things we do for it, while we’re in it, and when it’s gone is pointless, tiring, and the closest thing your damaged/faulty/drugged mind could be to a hamster in a wheel.
Asking someone to explain why they love someone or something is only asking for the impossible. Trying to answer the question is equally impossible.
These aren’t things we should worry ourselves with.
At least we all know now.
The time, patience, and dignity you wasted on such things in the past was in vain.
Yes, you tried, but there’s no point in chasing after things we’ll think are good for us. There’s no point in longing for things we’ll never have. There’s no point in trying anymore.
If they don’t make you smile once a day, get rid of them. Cut their barbs from you and toss them into the dirt. Let them rot until they fertilize something better. If they come back just as bad or as worse as the original, you can always squash them under your boot.
You can either keep trying something so you can say you tried, or you can face the alternative of a life wasted in vain to seek knowledge that cannot be obtained without certainty. Even the most solid scientific proofs are backed in research because you choose to believe the rules they follow.
Keep searching with the certainty of uncertainty and you’ll forget where it all started and keep going until the end.
Still yet another great mind, Louis C.K., said “Every day starts, my eyes open and I reload the program of misery. I open my eyes remember who I am, what I’m like, and I just go ‘ugh….'”
The things we keep doing and we don’t know why because we neither understand, enjoy, like, or love them, yet we keep doing them every day and we don’t like who’ve they’ve turned us into, those should be left rot into the dirt.
None of this is to suggest the things you love are worthless, but rather to illustrate one thing: if you can’t understand something, don’t worry about. Don’t worry about understanding it, but also don’t worry about the thing at all.
Do what makes you happy.
Don’t try to understand it.
Love what you love.
Don’t bother trying to explaining it.
Or maybe I just sit around too much, thinking of unimportant, insignificant things and blow them out of proportion.
Or maybe I watch too many movies.
Or maybe I read too much.
Or maybe I’m high.
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S. I can’t thank the rollerblading community enough for reading what I write. Not just this column, but for my next book, Freeze Tag on the Highway. The response from the blading community has been awesome. Thanks to everyone who ordered the book, because it was written by a rollerblader, has a photo by a rollerblader, was designed by a rollerblader, and has a character who is a rollerblader.
Also, thanks to anyone who shared around this awesome trailer for the book, made by awesome rollerblader Chris Bjerre.