It's a beautiful collection of short but powerfully brimming texts, on racism, but really, on humanity itself.

From personal stories, to poetry, to speeches. Maya comes off as an incredibly wise and kind woman through her writing. I can only wish to once write so beautifully too.

But that brings me to a thought. Must one have gone through suffering, pain, or exclusion to write compellingly? Is suffering fundamental to the magical forces that cause us humans to resonate with a story?

Have I myself experienced suffering? Did I just not recognize it properly, or has my life really been absent from any large suffering? Though it is ostensibly everyone's ideal, why does it feel so boring? Does suffering cause meaning?

It leads me to only one conclusion. Suffering is not to be avoided, but rather to be embraced as the crucial element of humanity's experience of existence. Does it mean that we should seek to suffer? Maybe. Imagine a life so comfortable that it shields and cushions you from real suffering. To seek suffering then is to push past your comfort zone. Because within it, you will never find suffering. Pushing past it invites more significant entropy in your life. The unknown is a cause of suffering in itself. It might be uncomfortable, but I think it should be embraced. To stand still and remain the same is to move backwards. Not changing takes a toll on your mental self. Thus to change is to live. To change is to experience the unknown, slowly unfolding itself to you. Internalizing small nuggets of the unknown is to live. In looking back, we see a past self that was, but can never be attained again. In looking back, we naturally also see our change. And seeing our change gives meaning. Reflection, awareness, and intentionality help to see. Help to experience meaning.