I like to believe that I have recovered from my bad habits. But now and then the natural, initial reaction to a lot of requests, issues, problems, or notices is to want to ignore it until the “due date”. No matter what it is. Seeing as though it is tax season at the time of this post, I can tell you that my taxes are already “done”, but I probably won’t be submitting them until the week taxes are due. Why? Two reasons: 1. Stick it to the man. 2. Old habits die hard.
Those were the thoughts I had in mind when I got to this part of Annals of an Empire. During this part of the book, Big Jim (James Ferdinand) is starting to see his life go down paths he hadn’t anticipated, and he’s having a hard time adjusting and accepting these unexpected changes. It is in the middle of this time of flux that he meets Rick, and after some time the following conversation (as part of a larger whole, important plot-points having been removed as well) takes place.
“Because it takes a unique kind of person who wants to leave the world behind; to not affect it, and not be affected by it.” He took a last drink of what Jim had finally decided was hot chocolate, and set the cup on the ground. “Is it cowardice? Maybe selfishness? Either way, good people do not remove themselves from the world voluntarily. You may avoid a phone call, or delete an email, but eventually you face the consequences of that choice, you choose not to avoid it for long. Because, Jim, deep down you believe you have an impact on the world, whether for your own gain, or something greater. You want to steer the ship in some small way in the direction you would want it to go, and you in turn want it to change you.”
“You may not like it, or even admit it.” Rick interrupted. “But there are laws that govern our lives, that govern the universe. Just as the speed of light is a constant in a vacuum, and that a bad tree can’t bring forth good fruit, a person with a good heart will naturally reach out to connect with humanity.”