The real secret is not to feel at the heart of every story. Sometimes, this one does not even belong to us, we did not understand the plot, the ending or the beginning. Nevertheless, we still want to take over it. This is because we have been taught that we are the centre of everything and that we deserve only the best from this life. In the end, do you know what really matters? Creating you own story without taking over the others’ life. You do not have to be at the heart of every situation, but at the heart of your own story. Listen, I cannot tell you what will happen next, I cannot tell you whether we go to heaven, whether we become animal feed, angels, or devils. I cannot tell you whether we become ashes. I do not know. All I know is that we can be the main characters of our own story now. Even more: we can be the narrators of our own story. We have been taught so much to compare and measure ourselves to the other people, that we are creating so many short copy-paste of stories we have already heard, and therefore lives we have already lived. Then, change your story, do something for you without having to tell anyone. Rewrite the pages which have already been written by others. Stop thinking that someone else’s story is more interesting than your own. Stop believing in quantity, be focused on quality, because I want to remind you of this: the books we remember are not necessarily the ones that have sold the most, but the ones which have entered the readers’ hearts or minds because of the quality of the writing, the plot and the ending.
I cannot tell you much more. What I have learnt is that time is a precious gift that we do not deserve, because we do not know how to manage it. We believe that filling it up is the only right way to handle it. Actually, time should only be a means to reach another purpose: time to study in order to reach a goal; time to struggle in order to reach an objective; time to fall in love in order to then experience love; time to understand in order to act; time to mature in order to blossom. Give yourself time, take this time which only belongs to you and do not lose it. We are used to that quote which says Do not waste your time. I would replace it with another one saying Take your time. Time as a therapy and as a means of caring. Taking care of friendships, of a plant, of a study, of one’s children, of a teaching, of an evening, of a landscape.
Take your time, do not lose sight of it again, do not lose sight of your story again. On the contrary, make it the best-seller that will be read over and over again a hundred and a thousand years from now. Do not fill the pages with momentary approval from the reader, but fill them with beauty, which the reader will then understand, and with love. There is no need to reach everyone, just reach someone.
His older brother would have loved to tell him all these things. He was married, with children, with a mortgage to pay, with all the obstacles of his job, with his wife’s illness, with debts and worries. This is why he would have shouted this monologue at him. He would have stood in front of him, with a gentle but at the same time austere and respectable manner, he would have changed his life forever. Then, he had looked up. His brother Riccardo, fifteen years younger than him, stood with half-closed eyes, leaning against the table. Sad, dissatisfied, he had just told him that his life had no meaning. As a consequence, he really wanted to give him this little speech, he really wanted to tell him that he had not understood anything yet, and that it was not good to think so. At that moment, he stopped. He thought back to the beginning of his well-reasoned monologue and realized that it was him who had understood nothing. Deep in his heart, he knew that he wanted to be at the centre this time too. He knew he was about to become the protagonist of a story that was not his own. Fascinated by the idea of being the older, caring and mature figure coming to his brother’s rescue, he would have given him a great monologue which could not help Riccardo in the end. He would have felt inferior once again. Therefore, he put aside that initial monologue. All that came out of his mouth was: “You do not need to get to everyone, you just need to get to someone. You always get to me, so if you want to talk about it, I am here. Look at me, talk to me”.
Riccardo spoke with him, showed him his thoughts and his reasoning. His brother understood that his initial monologue was efficient, but that it was nothing compared to the monologue his brother was giving him. That day he realized that to be at the centre of one’s own story, without taking over the one of others means, every now and then, knowing how to take a step backwards.