Bram Levinson

imageI remember having a discussion with a friend of mine whose daughter was less than 2 years old and asking him what the best part of being a father was. He told me that he loved seeing his daughter evolve, day by day, bit by bit, and seeing what morsel of character or personality she would display. Every day was a new discovery, and with every discovery he got to know who his daughter was turning out to be. Her talents, likes, dislikes, and sense of humour slowly unfolded, and he never knew when it would happen or how it would manifest. All he knew was that every day was a new opportunity to see his daughter’s personality emerge that much more. I also remember having a very close friend 15 years ago who was truly in the inner circle. We were incredibly close, true friends…until he started behaving oddly. Behaviours I had never seen from him started to emerge, starting off as what I believed to be a one-off occurrence to occurring regularly. I remember thinking how out of character he was being, and ended up pulling away and allowing an awkward distance to settle in between us until the friendship ended and we lost touch permanently. I’ve since learned that with age and a sense of independence comes the unconscious assumption that we’ve got everything figured out, that our past experiences are so vast and varied that we’ve lived it all and can start to live in a world of absolutes. We know the people in our lives to be who and what they are, we know ourselves to be who and what we are and we’ve got a pretty good handle on the world we live in. And you know what? We’re wrong. We need to understand that regardless of how many of the highs and lows of life we’ve been privy to, there’s more to know. We never stop learning. We never stop absorbing and tweaking what we already know to be true. We never stop learning that truth is subjective and that it is changing. Until we’re simply corpses lying on a slab, we are changing and evolving and finding out more about who we are, who the people around us are, what the world around us is all about and how we relate to all of it. When we peg the people around us as simply being the sum total of who they’ve been in the past, we limit them. When we peg ourselves as simply being the sum total of who we’ve been in the past, we limit ourselves. When we peg the world around us as being the sum total, and nothing more, of what it’s been in the past, we forget the most important thing we’ll ever learn. The only absolute is this: there are no absolutes except one. Everything is changing. Everything and everyone is changing. We have to stop labelling and discriminating and trying to wrap everything up in a nice, tidy, gift-wrapped box so that we can put it on a shelf and refer to it as being what it’s been in the past so that we can feel a sense of stability and control. The greatest gift we can give ourselves, the people around us and the world we coexist in is the approach to life that my friend had (and most likely still has) with his daughter. Let every day be an opportunity for newness to unfold and manifest. In yourself and those you know best. Celebrate what you’ve never seen before, even if it makes you uncomfortable. That sense of discomfort is most likely rooted in your sense of insecurity at seeing a free agent in an environment you had already assessed as being familiar and dependable. Welcome the unfamiliar and be grateful that you’re around to see evolution occur. Don’t ever stop learning. Don’t ever stop wanting to learn and grow and develop and evolve. And don’t punish those around you for showing you glimpses of who they are now, not yesterday or last year. I’ve made that mistake and it cost me a dear friend, but I certainly won’t make it again…

2 Responses

  1. So true. I used to be totally adverse to change and afraid of new and unpredictable situations. Throughout college I forced myself to accept change and even relish the fact that something was new and fresh. It took some work, but now change is totally acceptable and I thrive on unknown and different opportunities. The sooner in life this lesson is learned the better off people are. Thank you for putting this thought into words. if you’d like to expand your audience, I would love to help get you published on The door is open if you’re interested at all 🙂

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