The mountain north of my work was on fire today. The view from my cushy chair on the 3rd floor of the well air conditioned building left me without a care in the world. Besides, I didn’t see any houses on fire; only grass and bushes and trees. I’m sure there were houses in danger, however, I was protected by my own complacency. The airplanes flew over countless times and dropped water they picked up from the nearby reservoir.
I wanted to tell them that it was ok, that they could stop their mission. *I* was perfectly fine, so there was no need to put out the fire. There is something that I have always found comforting about the flames of a huge fire. Something burned inside me as I watched the mountain set ablaze.
When I drove home from work and pulled into my apartment complex the view changed. The smoke and flames seemed WAY closer to me, and I felt like it could actually be possible for this fire to reach me. My complacency dissipated. I looked for the planes that I had wanted to call off earlier. They were still flying and dropping water. I am glad they didn’t listen to me.
It’s easy to be apathetic or content with evil or mediocrity when it only impacts everyone else. As soon as it has the ability to affect me, I get scared. I guess it is time to fly straight and put out some fires of my own.
3 replies on “Burn One Down”
What did I tell you about starting fires? 😛
Seriously, though, you’re right. Perspective makes a huge difference. When people connect an event to themselves, it does tend to make the event become internalized, which in turn allows for greater empathy.
It’s that first step though, of connecting, that’s the hard part.
Introspective and eloquent – I am impressed Mr. Jackson. I will be coming back for further inspiration.
What is it about fire? I could stare at a campfire and get lost in its comforting dance for hours and yet the thought of myself or my house on fire is one of the most terrifying things imaginable.