This is my request to you as I make my journey: that you may make it with me. It is my hope to show you in my life when God blesses me, lessons I learn, and joys that fill my moments. And it is my prayer that you will do the same. If we meet along the road and you find a way that I can help, don’t hesitate to ask. If you are a revolutionary, I want to understand your revolution. If you are a fisherman, teach me to fish. And if you serve a God, treat me as He would have you treat me, so that I may see Him in you. I’m not asking for money. I’m not asking for a handout. I’m not asking for you to save me. I’m asking you to strive to live up to your potential as I strive to live up to mine.
Rest well in the knowledge that you are not alone in your worries for me in my chosen endeavor. My parents’ attempts in understanding why I have chosen to take this path, heartfelt as they may be, have offered them little solace as their youngest son sets off to see the world. You’d think they’d be used to it by now with as much wandering as I’ve done over the last ten years. I think they were hoping I would have accomplished something more with my life than becoming homeless.
Within the last week, I’ve gotten two calls from old friends wishing to meet with me before I leave; though it’s been eons since we last spoke. But I met with each of them and shared my heart’s intent as I have with you. And through them, as I later discovered them to be gentler versions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, appointed by my family to question my motives and report back, my parents have found at least some ease. Nevertheless, as to why I must make such a dramatic move is as foreign to them as it often is to me. But at least I’m beginning to understand it better.
Yesterday was Independence Day, and I spent it alone on the roof of my house as neighbors shot bottle rockets and Roman candles in every direction I looked. And I sat up there and watched, wondering if any of us truly considered the day a celebration of our independence or just an excuse to raise the fire marshal’s blood pressure.
I considered the Declaration our forefathers had made some two hundred and twenty-five years ago. I remembered learning of how many of them died violently to establish the freedoms we so take for granted today. If they saw what America would become, would they have been so willing to allow their blood to be spilt?
It seems like sometimes we forget, I know I do, just how much of a melting pot America is. There is a whole other side to America than what I see through the media. Other lifestyles, currency, desires, and methods of living. If for no other reason, I am leaving to examine our freedom. Or more accurately, to find my own.
This is an excerpt from The Rucksack Letters. Get your copy now!
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com, and sometimes posts at Anything Arts, Sarasota Music Scene, and Elephant Journal, and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.