Dead on One’s Feet Hanging

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

Source: Quote Me

In the tranquility, which is my room with only the desk lamp and radio on almost a decade ago (insert scream face), angsty teenager me stayed up a tad late, venting up well-repressed emotions as well as jotting down inspirational quotes from both books and movies into a designated notebook, kept safely in a locked drawer. Memories triggered the second the word “quote” is shoved to my eyes; how easy it is for a deeply subdued, cringe-prone part of my past to be out in the open. Oh bother.

Naturally, I proceed to remember some of my favorites back then. One of them is from a book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, which was recited in the movie Akeelah and the Bee. It was about how one should not shy away from one’s own abilities and qualities, which, by that time, I am ashamed to say I was big-headed enough to be able to relate with. Another one sounded something like “Hurt people hurt people”, which I am not sure who mentioned it on the first place, nor did I remember the person or medium I encountered it from. I was not only mesmerized by what I reckon was a really good play of words, but also that by that time I had an Aha! moment about why I used to be very aggressive towards other people and how the wheels had turned. Long story.

Right now I am not even sure if I still keep the quote book somewhere in my room back home, but I am still drawn into certain phrases, conversations and one-liners in both books and movies, and I would write some of them in my handy-dandy notebook of random scribblings. One of the very many that gives me lasting impression would be the first part of a poem by Langston Hughes called “Tired”, if that could be considered as a quote. It goes:

I am so tired of waiting,
Aren’t you,
For the world to become good,
And beautiful and kind?

Hits yours truly in the right places, that one. Because, honestly, isn’t it about bloody time?

Despite the universal efforts of different actors in various scales, unfortunately it appears that such aspirations are not as appreciated in the current system of “winner takes all” or “while the rich get richer, the poor get poorer”, and the sort. Even worse, it “pays” to be good and kind, and some can’t even afford it because the world had taught us to be selfish to the point of destruction of others to survive; all while selling out–even abusing, I dare say–ideas such as individuality, equality and humanism. Of all the devastation created out of greed and overstretched competitiveness, still, people forgot. Is it our curse as human beings to always fall into the same trap of the vicious cycle all over again? What is the point of all the morality insisted by the education system, which was supposed to shape us into a uniform mode of submission to the big guys in the closeted hierarchy?

Above all, can only time tell? And who is wise enough to define that our generation now is the “necessary sacrifice” for the sake of progress? Or for the dream world full of goodness, beauty and kindness? That we deserve to be “tired of waiting” and waiting only? How does one know that “it will get better” just because?

See, this is why I should not be provoked to think at night on my own, because I will end up only keeping myself even more awake, coming up with questions which will make me feel even more helpless and so done with the world, while this is supposedly some kind of a therapy helping me sleep, or find some much-needed faith in humanity or whatever.

I’m tired, too, Mr. Hughes. Unfortunately, I suppose not all of us are. Not at the same time, at least.

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