Question Of The Week: "The Velveteen Rabbit"

by Conor Friedersdorf

A reader writes:

I wanted to be deep. I thought I could search my brain, find something obtuse but well recognized. I wanted to be impressive. I wanted my comment posted, and for people to exclaim "ooh, good one." I read a lot. I know my music and my movies.

But when I think about what really guides my life, it isn't my politics, it isn't my worldliness, it isn't my education. It is the knowledge that life is kind of shitty, and then we'll all die. How long have I known this? Forever, it seems. At least before Camus or Tolstoy or Marquez reminded me as an adult. When I was a child, my mom would take me to The Hug Chair when life disappointed me and read The Velveteen Rabbit. I recognize now that it is not the most uplifting book. But it was a gift to acknowledge life's cruelties, and to learn that the only thing that would get us through it all is blind love.