The Flame

Inside you is a flame. Your job is to keep it alive.

You are born with a flame inside you. A small one, at birth. Endowed to you by nature, or a Creator. Your spark.

Everyone is born with the flame. The body is the vessel. Some of us are born in deformed bodies, some with the genes of an athlete. But no matter the vessel, the flame is in there.

The one rule in life is: protect the flame. Everything else comes after that.

Your flame is under attack. From the minute you’re born, to the minute you perish – nothing will support the flame if you don’t.

Your parents don’t see the flame. Good parents will try to take guesses at what it looks like and how to help you. They will extinguish it by accident if you’re not careful. Bad parents try to put the flame out.

Your teachers hate the flame. They will try to put it out. Pre-school, elementary, high school, college – all of them. No teacher wants an inferno in their classroom. Better to spray the extinguisher at the start of every class.

Your friends can’t see the flame. Real friends will root for your flame to grow. Fake friends will hope the light fades.

Society is a sprinkler system. Group dynamics, books, TV, magazines, newspapers, social media. The vast majority all committed to extinguishing the flame.

Your flame gets weaker from birth until you find it. Nobody helps you to find the flame. In fact, they try to convince you it doesn’t exist. Nobody helps you to feed the flame. Until you find it, it will get weaker and weaker. You must find it.

The second rule in life is: grow the flame. Is it not better to leave this Earth with your flame larger than when it was sparked? You can’t grow the flame until you know it’s there.

As the flame grows, so does the heat.

Some friends and family won’t like the heat. They’re more comfortable with low temperatures. You could melt them. Avoid these people.

Society hates the heat. It could burn the whole thing down.

You might not like the heat. At first. After all, you were used to room temperature, and now it’s starting to get hot.

Once you start to heat up, you can’t go back. Your whole system got used to the heat. If the flame isn’t growing, it feels a little chilly. More than that, in fact – ice cold. And you get back to growing.

The attacks don’t stop. Your flame is becoming a fire, but they still try to put it out. They try even harder. You’ll get a bucket of water poured on you from behind. You’ll walk into a room and every person in it has a firehose aimed right at you.

When your flame becomes fire, it’s unstoppable. You know how to protect it. You’ve had it since birth, after all, and it’s not out yet.

Fire will find a fuel. Flames are vulnerable, but fires are threatening. Fire consumes everything in its path. Attacks turn to fuel. Support turns to fuel. Victories turn to fuel, as do defeats. The fire is raging now.

Fire is contagious. Others around you find their own flames. They surround you, so you all burn together. From a distance, the group looks like wildfire.

The flame won’t go unless you let it. It will shrink, and shrink. It may become an ember. But the spirit sustains the flame as long as you allow it to.

You have a choice. There are two approaches to the flame inside you:

Neglect: the flame will continue to shrink. One day, after years of neglect, a moment of clarity will reveal the flame, deep down inside you. It is too late, you will think. There is no time to grow this. And others are too far ahead. I was never made to keep a flame.

Others will look in your eyes, and see a human being extinguished. No light. Ash clouding the pupils.

Protect, and feed: the flame will grow. You will create a fire. You will burn bright as you age.

Others will look in your eyes, and see the fire. You might spark their own flame.

The best among us will set ablaze. The earth will be scorched; the landscape raging with millions of growing flames. And in their eyes will be inferno.

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