Then, there is the day you realise that something is just fundamentally being missed, overlooked, a crucial part of a process has gone astray. You suggest to someone that’s the case, before they take that concept and borrow it. It’s not stealing, because this isn’t the kind of place where that happens. They borrowed an idea, which becomes a huge success.
You feel sick some nights worrying about responsibility: what was signed up to, what is the true end result. Just satisfaction, that’s how this works, because money is non-existent, validation should be enough except, in this case, it isn’t, because you’ve done ALL the work and now someone else will use that as their credit, a stepping stone, new way they impress their peers.
The images of a lifetime, wasted and irredeemable, haunt your dreams.
The world is no longer a place where it is easy to be comfortable: grown men bicker on television, across social media. Women attack other women because they need to feel as if they are doing something, anything to keep their version of reality intact. Newspapers and social media make money from the fallout, become facilitators of distrust and deceit, don’t care whose in charge as long as their quality of life is maintained.
Through the cracks fall the marginalised, the disabled, anyone with empathy or honour, those who refuse to play the pathetic playground games or who engage the bullies and are dog piled as a result. Many, many innocent lives are shafted for the sake of principles which, on close inspection, disintegrate into the non-sequiturs they always were. All that matters is that the rich get richer, and nobody is massively inconvenienced.
The planet groans, close to death, unheard by all but a few saviours.
In the midst of it all is an epiphany: change begins with you. The process begins to alter your outlook, readdress the imbalances. Your ideas are still stolen but you make it impossible to erase personal influence from the picture. It is your drive and determination that makes others stop and think about themselves, address the shortcomings, alter their outlooks. Slowly, gradually, change begins to happen.
It becomes apparent that if enough people are prepared to do the same, real alteration is possible. The key is finding what amount constitutes critical mass, and watching other people walk away and refuse to take part breaks your heart less and less each time it happens. People are the problem. Other people’s inability to alter themselves is the issue. Those who can and will continue to offer the only sensible solutions.
Their hope and enthusiasm shines brighter than sunshine.
You know the damage you’ve done. The past is best left well alone, and so you do and even when it comes back and tried to derail, there’s strength enough to ignore it. You can only hope others understand how much you care, and that this is all you will ever do. After that, trying to change the everything is a complete waste of time.
You learn to pick your moments, and they are glorious.