“Sometimes it’s easier to forget what we are responsible for and what we are supposed to do. Remembering means choosing.”
– The Moon Goddess, The Memory Thief
Thirteen Witches, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
As this quote comes near the end of the book, under circumstances which are a bit complex and filled with spoilers, I shall simply say that a young girl in need is getting some counsel from a divine being at an hour when she stands at the crossroads of her life. The choice she has to make is simple enough: now that she understands the evil of the world and the responsibility to stand against it, she can either forget it all and live a life as happy and peaceful as she might, or she can do something about it, accepting all the risks and sacrifices that come with the doing.
There is something very profound in that choice, something that rings deeply true and simple.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how there are many people who don’t really remember the significance of some of our holidays. Memorial Day is just another day off, I don’t recall at the moment if we even get Veterans’ Day off, Thanksgiving is crushed in the rush of Black Friday, Christmas and Halloween are severely commercialized… the list goes on. The meaning of these, the reminders they are meant to be of what matters and what we are supposed to do, is being buried and forgotten.
That seems to be a trend these days. The lessons of history are being lost, or rewritten. The past may never have been perfect, but it carried forth the values which helped previous generations make the world a better place around them. Now, those values are trampled under, and with them the virtues that encouraged people to act like human beings, to be upstanding individuals within their communities. Good and evil, and truth itself, are becoming fluid and unstable in the eyes of many, causing many to drown in the morass of the world, with no sure footing to stand on.
Because it’s easier to drift and to drown than it is to stand against the torrent.
Standing takes effort, as does the act of supporting others who also stand, to find sure footing, and whether endless buffetings.
It is easier to be selfish and lazy, to not remember, to use and cast people aside, to be carried along any and every little current, to judge quickly and never ask questions, never learn more, never think for oneself, to feel no love or connection with our fellow creatures.
It is far easier to forget ourselves and forget the world entirely, rather than to take the world onto one’s shoulders, which is what responsibility is.
It is sadly common for many people to do what is easier.
However, there are also many who make the hero’s choice, the harder choice: to remember, to take responsibility, and do what they know they should do.