Motivational Love Letter for my Comrade

[… and for me and for anyone who can relate]

“I have to go where the love is and where the love is, is hope of community” (bell hooks)

I will not watch you letting yourself down just because you failed today.
You didn‘t live up to your own expectations at some point, but neither of us does.
To put it even more to the point: it is clear that you will fail at some points, because you are dreaming and aiming very high. But that’s also what we need you for – it is your strength to create visions that seem unreachable to me; as well as to work towards them and – maybe most important to me – to make us work towards them, too.
Because that’s what you do. You burst out into the world with ideas and plans that at first sight seem aiming far too high in my judgment, that take too many steps at once and regard things to be far too easy. But you convince me to take a deeper look at them, you challenge me to name the pitfalls – which means to think about it really hard and starting to engage in the process already – and you come up with solutions that don‘t erase my doubts but show me even more attempts that would never have crossed my mind. You are eager in your plans and rigid about any doubts and barriers and you have thousands of ways ready to get there. Taking 5 steps at a time, your plan might not be perfectly laid out and you might under-estimated how long it will actually take, how much long-term commitment is needed and how many doubts and reluctance of people you will have to overcome. But you are able to create these visions and you lay it out to people and with your charisma, your dedication and your conviction you make all of us envision what that could be like, contributing our thoughts, our ideas and our work, so that finally we together are collectively knitting this project which is developed and build by everyone who gets into it – and you know all the people who have specific knitting skills, so just by bringing them together and make them find their place of contributing their share, you move things forward.
And I am longing for my place to contribute my share in a collective creation of something that guides us to a new place. I need you to help me believe in the possibility of these kind of new things still happening.
You know me, I am all about commitment, not only on an idealistic, but on a very down-to-earth pragmatic reliability level. I try hard to live up to my own expectations and especially to my promises. I am most likely to have the things that I assigned myself to done, most always in time and you can be sure that I have thought things through thoroughly in advance before I put them out there. I am reliable. (Both descriptions are exaggerated, of course, but it’s a stylistic device so you‘ll get my point of complementary enriching strengths, will you.) But I‘m not able to create visions any more. I learned to see barriers, I learned how deep exclusion is embedded in all social processes and I experienced being let down by my community of friends and comrades: once when I was still naive and thought we could build a better world just by letting everyone explore what they are interested in and talk a bit about justice and Utopian ideas. But when I became a feminist and aware of power structures, especially regarding my own community, the fun part was over and so was their friendship and comradeship. The second time I thought I found a whole new world of answers, much more serious and engaged in their struggle and passionate in that, too; but again I felt let down by the ones I regarded my friends and comrades in this and they had their own community. I don‘t want to be unjust in this, but regardless of whom to blame or not to, I was lost in my need of collective perspectives. My close friends and comrades have always been true to me, but all of us became cynical in a way, neither of us felt we could put up with more than our daily struggles of maintaining our tiny structures or punctual activities. Neither of us allows oneself to dream big. We are caught in the middle of the machinery that produces loss of sense and human value. In a surrounding of wealth and shining advertisement, where imagination is buried under concrete and bureaucracy, we are all drowning in depression and isolation.
Call it imagination or hope, call it spirituality or honest love, call it mutual commitment to an idea or call it a collective … I cannot name the thing, the feeling or promise I desperately need, more specifically – but I know taking your hand and walking upright towards that new place, along with everyone who joins, is what I need, to make me joyful, strong and grateful enough not to give up.

I wouldn‘t love you any less if you let yourself down; but I would get to you and come and kick your ass to make your head stop from dwelling on self-criticism – because you are brilliant and your visions are clear. Not free from flaws, that’s why you need me, to find them and – maybe – fix them. But I need you – I need you to offer me a vision to which I can contribute by finding and eliminating its barriers. Because without that, I‘d only ever see barriers and I would never get into a vision. I need to be offered a starting-point from which we can evolve collectively, a starting-point which in itself carries the notion of a collective, the radical faith into its existence, its relevance, its potential success and its liberating power.
Don‘t get down because you sometimes fail. You don‘t have to be perfect, you don‘t need to manage everything. That’s what we are here for, we back you up. That’s why we all look for a collective in one or the other way, to support each other, to remind each other we are still here and that we mustn‘t give up. You can have a bad day, everyone does. But you must never give up, because we need you, like we all are in need of each other.

[<3 0916]