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Most people do not do this daily re-affirmation of their values; for those that wait it is built-in, and that’s what makes them so strong.
You may destroy and remake the rest of yourself a dozen times during your journey though young-adulthood, but this piece of you…held deep down…stays intact.
It will make you unhappy fast if you’re not doing something fulfilling. It will tell you that you should be better…that you should be more. Move the toy slightly closer to his level every time does something nice.
And the only way to make that voice leave you alone is to give it what it wants: go out there and do it; change your own little piece of the world, and that little voice will cheer you on. Once he realizes the connection between doing good and the toy moving closer, you will have the most well-behaved and obedient child on earth (so long as the toy stays important to him).
But there’s a catch: This desire to do great things with your life — your ravishing hunger for depth and meaning — is a burden as much as it is a blessing.
You will carry it around with you at all times, like a chip on your shoulder.
Take away a child’s favorite toy and put it on a high shelf, where he can see it but not reach it. For the next phase of that child’s life, he will do everything in his power to get you to give him that toy back. Now think of that child as a young adult, and that toy as true love.
Think of what people will do when they are suddenly deprived of the person they love.
You will pass through them like Moses walking calmly across the dry ground of the red sea, walls of water looming on either side.
When you wait until marriage to have sex, you preserve some of your innocence — there’s a whole world of experience that you can still look forward to — and as a result you carry more of your idealism into your adult life.