Brief Reflections On Getting Burnt

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It’s not the idealists that bother me. I like idealists. The world desperately needs idealists.

The folks that bother me are those who hide their fear or laziness behind the mask of “just being practical.” Those who set restrictive expectations based on a lack of trust in themselves and others, and then live within those limits as if they were law, never daring to test them, never taking the risk of being proven wrong. Such folks live little lives. They encourage others to heed their “wisdom of experience” when such wisdom is little more than the hard-worn habits of having lived a little life.

No, give me an idealist any day. Give me someone who has tested the limits and has the scars to show for it. Give me the people who know how far the human spirit can be pushed and how great it can become, who have learned the lessons of risk rather than the habits of restraint.

By gods, give me someone who isn’t afraid of a little fire!


This brief reflection is in honor of Terry Pratchett, and all those Ancestors of Spirit who have walked the way ahead of us — teaching us to take risks, get burned, fall down… and to get up again and keep on moving, making friends with the Dark.

Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

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