Why We Let Good People Go

It came as a shock. Earlier that day, I asked God if I could have one good cry to at least reset all the emotions coursing willy-nilly through my body. It was a figurative request, but wouldn’t you know, I got something to cry about.

For the past 48 hours (has it only been that short?), I’ve been asking myself questions to try and understand the choices people make. Why do good people leave? And why do we let them?

There are a gazillion reasons why people leave, ranging from the most selfish to the most heartless; from the most external to the most internal; from the expected to the unexpected.

1) It could have been because of the environment. Sure, from my perspective, I couldn’t be any happier than where I am now, but I’m just me – an idealistic, naive, and fresh out of school kid whose view of the world isn’t as profound as those of older people.

2) Money matters. It doesn’t make the world go ’round, but it does pave the way for many of life’s pleasures. It’s a very easy phrase to say when you’re down in the dumps, and being optimistic is the only way up. But when you’re smack in the middle of things, optimism doesn’t exactly pay the bills on its own.

3) Self-fulfillment. It’s not you. It’s me.

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I travel to leave behind the negativity that has accumulated in the months that I have stayed in one place. It is a refreshing exercise that cleanses my mind and my soul. To travel is to let go of excess baggage and put on new lenses to see life with.

But why do we allow the good people to just get up and leave? Why do we stop holding on? Of course, the reasons vary. Even rock climbers stop and rest when their hands chafe.

Tonight I remembered one of our lessons in Ethics a couple of months ago. The concept of good is as subjective as one’s favourite color. Something that I think is good may be bad for somebody else; a nurturing environment for me may be stifling for others; the people I think are kind may be pretentious and evil in another person’s perspective.

We let people go because we have theory of mind. We know that what we’re thinking/feeling isn’t necessarily what others are thinking/feeling.

We let the good people go because we don’t want to clip their wings and keep them from flying. In fact, we want to be the “wind beneath their wings”, as the song goes.

At first I didn’t understand why I was so affected by something so small, but I’ve realized that there are chances in life that we have to miss in order to make space for something even better. There’s no saving everyone, but we can at least try to understand where their decisions are coming from.

Credit: Thank you for taking such nice snapshots, George 🙂

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