Michael Jackson has always intrigued me.

No, not because of the plastic surgeries or all the other weird stuff. It was mostly because of his desire to stay young. That got a little creepy after a while, but the thing is: he wanted to be young forever. To be a child forever. 

Maybe this was a reflection of his own upbringing (or the fact that he didn’t have much of a childhood), but it got me thinking about the things we lose when we grow up.

About our necessary losses.

And we lose a lot of things. Good or bad, we lose a lot during our lives. We lose the comfort of being taken care of. The certainty that our care takers are super heroes. And we realize that people are fallible, that we are fallible.

Young and foolish - flavia bernardes art blog

So we grow old and get hard. Because life happened to us. And we reacted to it. We count our losses and become scrappy. We become guarded and hard. We try to protect ourselves. But there’s only one problem: when we get hard we stop caring. We lose our ability for connection.

We stop caring.

But we don’t need that. There’s enough of that in the world already. What we really need is people who give a damn. We desperately need connection and we can’t have that without caring.

watercolor painting of a little girl

And it takes compassion to care. It's really humbling when you see that the only difference between you and the person who hurt you, is how you respond to them. It gets you out of reactive mode and puts you in control over your actions. You can choose to fight back or you can choose… not to. You can choose to look at life with kindness. To see things as you did when you were a child. When you were young and foolish.

While you may not be able to stay young forever, you can always stay foolish. 

So, amidst all chaos, stay foolish. When the world seems to have gone mad? Stay foolish. Feel the anger, feel the pain, get outraged, be sad.. and let go. Believe with the utmost naivety that it gets better. Be foolish and brave. Pick up your shattered broken pieces. Dust off your soul. Cup your heart into your hands and protect it as if your life depended on it. Because it does. Don’t let hardships make you hard. Don’t let jerks turn you into one of them. Believe that it gets better. Believe in your core in good and kindness.