Erastes, Mississippi

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Erastes, in his own words: “We are more than who we are or who we want to be or who we will become. We have always been more–more than our attributes, our identities, and our flaws. Upon a cursory glance, one would be tempted, convinced even that we were made to be free to our will. Yet, through a deeper examination of our lives, every aspect of our lives, we will realize our lives are not our own. We belong to others, and they belong to us. We belong to each other, and we are compelled to love one another, no matter how subtle or gentle the innate longing. Still the urge for something greater than ourselves is there: the love of all people, not for the sake of being loved in return but for the mere sake of loving them because they need to be loved. I cannot begin to disclose the profundity in my mundane and simple life, but I do see it in the sunrise and the sunset, in the blooming flower, in another’s smile; hear it in my nephew’s laugh, my niece’s coo; and feel it in my mother’s love and my father’s and my grandmother’s and my friends’–all of my friends’ love. And in such wondrous moments, I am in awe at how much greater life is than me, and I know that I am supposed to live for that which is greater than me, as I believe we all are. And no matter how lost or despairing we may be, the fact remains that we are greater than our desires, greater than our sufferings, because we are a part of a universal, endless, unbridled, undying, relentless love that makes us greater than our greatest strengths and stronger than our strongest weaknesses. And so, I say to you, whoever you may be, wherever you are, that I love you, though I may never know you, and that you were meant to be a part of something greater than either of us is or will ever be. Therefore, whenever you look hopelessness in the face, remain steadfast and continue loving without ceasing, for you are more than who you are, more than who you want to be, more than who you will or long to become. You are a part of a cosmic, selfless love that is experienced by dying to yourself and living for others. Now, go and love and serve others.”

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