Let Life Live

Jeff Johns
4 min readJan 14, 2015


So I like to think I have all these deep thoughts when I go out running. Whether I do or not, who knows, but I am starting to write them down instead of forgetting about them. My only wish is that my brain could write them as I run, would be easier to not forget any details.

Lately I’ve been thinking about people, who we are, why people are different, how do people become who they are?

I’ve come to the conclusion there is no answer. You are who you are. Yes you can be swayed by outside forces but you are still you and you’ve become exactly who you set out to be. Sometimes organically, sometimes through an outside influence.

By you not taking control over your emotion you become violent, by you not speaking up you become accepting, by not dealing with a incident in your past, you become withdrawn. The more you do that the more those personality traits take over and you become exactly who you are and who you’ve let yourself become.

Sometimes you think “How did I become this person?”, if you took the time to reflect on your decisions, you would see exactly how you became you at this very moment.

But I digress, I’m getting off track. I started to think about these things and find it absolutely amazing we are all different. I want to learn what makes the person next to me tick, what factors led them to be them? I’ve started to love the differences in people. Once you accept everyone as being different and knowing you have no control over that, you can then start to really enjoy life.

There is so much chaos in the world. It’s no different than it was years ago, you just see it more. Most of it boils down to people being different and not accepting of each other for those differences.

Why should it matter what religion you practice? What music you like? Whom you want to marry? It shouldn’t. If you want to live your life a certain way, go for it. If you live somewhere that you are not accepted for you, you should take action. Not in a violent manner but I mean either move if you can or be vocal about you and the things that matter to you. Show people you are different, but as a whole not any more different than the next person.

For the rest of you that “fit in”, do you ever remember a time you didn’t “fit in”? I bet you can and it sucked, so why do that to someone else? We all struggle, we all laugh, we all cry. We all have shitty days and good days. We all have the same emotions, but we chose to use them differently.

Why not just let life live? Why try to change someone for what you think is “right”? Why peddle your thoughts as the only way to think? All valid questions and I’m not sure the folks that are so overly aggressive with their politics could ever truthfully answer. The answer “because it’s the right way to live” isn’t valid because you have no evidence to support that just as I have no evidence to support the way I want to live. It’s just an opinion.

The issue is you’re uncomfortable with and you don’t understand your neighbor. It’s easier to push someone away than it is to open up and get to know someone. Truly be accepting. It’s hard to let your guard down and pour your heart out.

It’s hard to have a debate over opinions and after it’s over have each party be ok with the outcome. Because at the end of a debate there is no winner, just two people that vented; you aren’t going to sway the other party that was open to debate their views in the first place. At best all you can do is leave with a better understanding of why that party has those views, but only if you are open enough to have an intelligent conversation.

Let’s face it, we all need to change. We all need to put more time into our neighbors. We all need to be better people, a more accepting people. We all need to try and lead with our second thought.

You know that first thing that comes to your mind when you get emotional? Yeah don’t say that, sit on that thought and wait for your second thought to come. The one you actually put some time into, say that one. I guarantee that one is far better than your first thought was.

At the end of the day where is the harm in just letting life live?



Jeff Johns

Husband, father of three, engineering leader, planner, organizer, runner, and music lover.