It’s Chaos, be kind.
Every couple years I stumble across a collection of words that manages to wire itself into the heart of the operating system that is… me. Maybe it’s the fact that my wife and I are just a few short months away from having our first kiddo, but lately I’ve been in search for a new guiding principle for these uncharted and turbulent times.
I didn’t expect to find it in Annihilation, Patton Oswalt’s new Netflix special, but that’s exactly what happened. The special is filled with memorable lines, but the one that stands out the most is four simple words:
As soon as Oswalt’s special entered its final act I knew the message was something special. I liked it so much I made the design above for release on my site.
Like so many of his fans, over the last year I’ve watched Oswalt rebuild his life with tears in my eyes, and hope in my heart. On facebook, and across the web, Oswalt has shown us his character, his vulnerability, and his honesty.
But even knowing the story, even following along from a distance… it didn’t prepare me for the special. It’s hilarious, honest, and then fearlessly heart wrenching. The bravery in which he shares such intimate details, peppered with just the right amount of humor is beyond my comprehension.
Oswalt summarizes the core of this sentiment in a recent interview with SplitSider. While on the topic of his atheism and the passing of his wife, interviewer Isaac Kozell asked Oswalt what he did mentally and emotionally without having religion to rely on, he states:
I do have a “belief system,” but that belief system comes down to what Michelle always said, which is, “It’s chaos. Be kind.” If you want to talk to God — or whatever you think God is — go be nice to another person. That is the best way to communicate with the infinite. Be nice to a family member, a loved one, go spread that around. That’s sort of what I was doing, or started to do once I could move. You’re being a superhero when you’re out doing that. You don’t know how it will be spread around, but you know that you’re literally out there doing good.
There is just something so perfect about this. It’s honest, yet positive. If everyone read, understood, and accepted it, I feel like the world would be a better place.
“It’s chaos. Be kind.”