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Not Just to Pass Through It

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.” — Joan Didion

The thing about beginning a blog post with a Joan Didion quote is that she’s a tough act to follow. How do we not just let her words stand on their own and call it a day? But that’s not what a blog is, is it? We must press on, inspired thusly, awed slightly, and make a go of it.

We ought to get out there and live in the world while we can. Embrace these moments together and sprinkle something memorable on top. We ought to play the songs that bring us joy and turn off the noise that drags us down. We forget sometimes that this is our moment in the sun. Choose to remember.

Didion passed away earlier this year, honored appropriately, and shifted from active participant at the adult table to somewhere else, just out of reach. But her voice still echoes in the room even as she vacates it. My quoting her is yet another echo. See how this works? We live on through others, whether we know them in our lifetime or not. We just need to live a life large enough that we reverberate ever so slightly in our absence.

So how do we reverberate? It’s simple, really: Choose to make a small splash. Speak up in the moment. Get up on the dance floor first. Tickle someone’s fancy. Seek adventure and live to tell about it. Serve others. Make a difference in someone’s life just when they need it the most. Be bold. Be humble. Live.

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