Wish you were here

“Dying is easy it’s living that scares me to death.”  –Annie Lennox

Recently, I’ve heard a few different people express their devotion to another person’s well-being by saying, “I would die for them!”

Despite the presumptive nobility of that statement, it doesn’t sit comfortably with me.  I mean, I get the point.  But…

At what point are we given the choice to take a bullet destined for a loved one?  How often does that situation present itself in a one’s lifetime?  Its a beautiful thought but really, we will never know if,  in that moment, you would be the rare individual whose love for another would defy the innate instinct to save your ass.

The real measure of devotion, of loving someone beyond comprehensible depths, isn’t if you would die for them.  It’s if you would live for them.

Would you give them your shoes when they’re walking on glass?  Would you even notice their lethal path?  Would you sit with them in their terrifying dark night?  Would you stay close when no one else comes near?  Would you trade your comfort to be with them in their suffering?  Or as it is put so beautifully, “a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”

I’m not talking about co-dependent destruction, or letting someone lead you down a dark road.  I’m talking about devotion and faithful caring.  If you inflict unintentional pain on a loved one, will you ride that wave with them all the way to shore?

I can’t say that I am all of these things.  Nor can I point to many humans whom I can be sure are either.  But, when we talk of devotion, or love, or self-sacrifice we should be careful; because we may just be called upon to live – up to our words.


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