Stay True to the Dreams of Your Youth
He rose again from his shadow to contemplate the decision before him. The sun was descending into the west, and he felt it exploding him from behind. A few feet from where his eyes rested upon his young face stood two signs.
One sign pointed down a road where a car awaited to take him into the womb of certainty, should he choose that path. The other sign pointed towards a narrow trail that disappeared into a lush forest.
He looked at the sign pointing at the car. Upon it, in big, black gleaming letters was the word CERTAINTY?10 miles. Underneath this word written a bit smaller, it read, ACCEPTENCE and SECURITY.
He stared at the sign for a moment before shifting his gaze to the other. This sign was older looking and the words were a bit faded?it read: UNCERTAINTY?miles unknown. Underneath, like the other sign, were two words: RISK and FREEDOM.
The boy became confused and distraught once again as his eyes began to swell with water. Most of his life he had been told that this day would come. They had all said for him to prepare himself and he now knew that this would be the biggest decision he would ever make. A resolution that would decide his life course. Those close assured him it would ultimately be his decision; but at the same time he felt the urge to get into the car, which would lead him to certainty. They had all been where he was now, and they would convince him that getting into the car would be the safest way to live his life.
Most of them had chosen the path of certainty. They had all sat down in the comfort of the car, and like most before had all ended up secure and accepted. But were they happy? Were their hearts singing everyday when they awoke?
The boy thought about this as he turned to let the setting sun dry his face. He watched the beautiful merging of the sun and ocean. The sight seemed to return a calmness that had been absent from his soul. He breathed deep, longing for the rays of light to enter his body, to maybe melt away his emotions. Then, after a while he closed his eyes and slowly turned to face the inevitable.
The boy retracted his eyelids to let all perception enter. He glared at the first sign, trying to dismantle the words until they were naked, revealing their true meaning. CERTAINTY. ACCEPTANCE. SECURITY. He couldn?t figure out, why most of the world was obsessed with obtaining these things, why most deemed this path the safest for one?s life.
He shifted his eyes to the other sign, looking deep into the words. UNCERTAINTY. RISK. FREEDOM. He repeated the words over and over as he read them. Then, slowly but suddenly, quietly but urgently, the revelation crawled into his head and rest upon his brain.
The boy quickly looked up, beyond the sign to the trail disappearing into the lush green canopy. Then he glanced at the car. He felt his heart begin to beat harder. He looked back to the trail and the beautiful forest, which eventually enveloped it. The boy watched as a bird took flight from one tree to another. He noticed a squirrel run down the base of a tree and then disappear under a bush. He realized that animals are not concerned with security or acceptance. They are content with being who they are, and they are satisfied with what they have.
His breath quickened as he looked back to the car and the looming city beyond. He pondered all the people scurrying around in the shadows of those towering buildings. He wondered if they were content with being who they were. He wondered if they were satisfied with the path they had chosen. The boy concluded that maybe some were, but most were trying to fill the void where their childhood hearts once sang.
Most were trying to get somewhere the car would not take them because in this life, nothing is certain. He felt a wonderful burning in the center of his chest, as he finally turned his back to the car forever. As he moved to the head of the uncertain trail, he glanced at the sign, which pointed to it. A subtle smile crept across his face. For now he knew what the sign meant.
The boy stood before the path of uncertainty, held his head high, and said these words aloud, ?This is the route for my life. I know because my heart has shown me the way. This passage will not be an easy one. There will be numerous obstacles blocking my way and many challenges to overcome; but by doing so I know that I will learn and grow from every experience, pleasant or unpleasant. I understand that by taking this uncertain path, I may risk acceptance and security, and at times life might be filled with suffering; but if the risk is taken out of life, then there will be no true living. Through the risk of the life I?m choosing, ultimately I will be free.?
Tears of joy began to gather in the boy?s eyes as he took to the path of uncertainty, because he knew he was following his heart, and his heart had told him to stay true to the dreams of his youth.
Just before the boy was consumed by the thicket of trees, he looked back over his shoulder to where the car was. He began laughing and singing lovely songs of freedom because the car had vanished.