(more EAST OF EDEN)

    In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted shortcuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his live must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
    We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.

—–

Adam slowly raised his head. It is true that Cal had never looked into his father’s eyes before, and it is true that many people never look into their father’s eyes.

so true. maybe someday i’ll work up enough courage do it (for real, not just a cursory glance), i wonder what it’d be like.

The other day I was thinking about a lot of the decisions I’ve made during my short time as a semi-independent person (since maybe entering college or a little before) and I realized that I’ve never really done anything I didn’t want to do. I don’t mean (of course) that I’ve never done the dishes or gone running when I didn’t want to, but when it comes down to it, most of my big, life-guiding decisions have been made with my complete consent and, in most cases, enthusiasm.

This isn’t to say that I am the person, or in the place that I always thought I’d be when I was younger. The type of person I want to be, job I want to do, place I want to live, and so on are completely unique to the part of life I am currently navigating. If senior-in-high-school Justin were allowed a peek into my brain, I am convinced he would reel in surprise (and perhaps disapproving shock) at what he saw; so far removed are my hopes, ambitions, even my ideals and concepts of what is good and desirable from what they were before.

Perhaps this is true for everyone. Maybe, in the end we do only do what we want (and thus living a good life is merely a practice in willing yourself to want good things). Most probably, I have lacked faith and God, in his grace, has been faithful. I can’t recount any specific time, but how many times have I lifted, shouted or desperately thrown this prayer to heaven, “Lord, I want to want to be good!”

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~ by justinhong on April 11, 2008.

3 Responses to “”

  1. i want to be good toooooooo! šŸ˜¦

  2. emm

  3. word. sometimes i attribute change in how I’ve wanted my life to look (since high school) to being at bizzzzerkeley and other times to knowing Jesus more..but this post definitely captures a lot of my thoughts lately. good seeing you again jusssssssstin!

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