A few weeks ago, I got this text message from a friend:
It took me a few minutes to wrap my mind around exactly what he meant, but I slowly recognized that buried deep within this abstract pep talk was the informal declaration of a profound philosophical truth with two crucial steps:
Step 1 – Identify the bunny.
Step 2 – Kill the bunny.
Unfortunately, identifying the bunny is tricky business. We live in a world filled with distraction, manipulation and uncertainty. Our options are limitless. There are bunnies everywhere we look – high, low, on television, in dreams. In addition, the world is overflowing with pretend bunnies, sneaky bunnies, and wolves that dress up like bunnies so that they can trick us. Then there are all of these great, wonderful, amazing bunnies that people ignore and look down upon because those are not the bunnies that everyone else likes so why would you even think of going after different bunnies than them, that’s just crazy talk. Then there are strangers with strange jobs who try to befriend you, convince you, induce you, day in and day out, to focus your attention and your life on a bunny that you not only don’t need and don’t want, but a bunny that is bad for you.
“No, that’s not the bunny you want!” they’ll shout. “That’s not the bunny you need! You need this bunny, not that bunny! THIS is the bunny that will make you prettier, stronger, happier, faster, healthier. THIS is the bunny for you…”
And on and on and on…
So, step one is key: What’s your bunny? What gets you out of bed in the morning, what puts a smile on your face, and what fills your soul with passion? What are you best at and what do you most enjoy doing? What is the one thing that you want most in this world? If you died tomorrow, what is the one thing that you would regret most?
That’s your bunny.
Give it some thought.
Now that the bunny is identified, step two is the fun bit. We need to kill the bunny.
But, why, oh why, must we slaughter this poor bunny? What has the bunny ever done to us? The answer, my friend, is easy. The bunny represents our fate, our hopes, and our dreams. The bunny symbolizes that thing, that one special, little thing, that we need most in this moment, this life, this existence. The bunny is our calling, our destiny, our hopes and our fears. Letting our fears get the best of us is not a choice. However, the bunny is on the menu and tonight, we dine on rabbit.
Without the bunny driving us forward into the sunrise and then inspiring us to rest comfortably beneath the sunset after a long day of pursuit, we are nothing. If we do not kill the bunny, the bunny will kill us, slowly and painfully roasting us from the inside out like a big pot full of regret set to simmer, and that is unacceptable. And for that, my friend, the bunny must die.
I understand where you’re coming from. Why is such violent language necessary? Why, on a website espousing love and positivity, kindness and compassion, must we concern ourselves with ending the life of a small, innocent creature, and a cute, furry one at that? Well, my friend, the short answer is because we have no choice. We live in a society that is becoming increasingly tepid. We find ourselves uncomfortable around those bold enough, aggressive enough, passionate enough, and single-mindedly selfish enough to wrap their fingers around what they want most in this world and then rip it to shreds. We secretly approve of these people from a distance, mouths agape, eyes filled with awe. From afar, we sit and admire as the proceedings unfold on our televisions, our phones, our magazines. However, in doing so we concurrently convince ourselves, unknowingly and imperceptibly, that we cannot do what they can do, we cannot live the lives that they live. We do not want and we certainly do not deserve to kill big, delicious bunnies like they do. No, of course not. Why?
“Because we’re better than that.”
“Because we have other things to do.”
“Because we don’t like devouring bunnies.”
But, really, the joke is on us because guess what? Deep down, in the very caverns of our existence, we all love killing bunnies – it fulfills us, it gives us purpose, it gives us life. And in that, we owe it to ourselves to get on with it. We must kill the bunny.
“Oh, I’d love to, but I can’t.” That’s what we tell ourselves. We pride ourselves on being more balanced, more rational, more civilized than those savage bunny killers we see on television, but all that’s really happening to us is that we’ve grown so accustomed to living our lukewarm lives, subsisting on stale scraps of burnt toast and watching the world go by, that we’ve forgotten how to run, how to chase, and how to kill. We’ve forgotten how to hunt. We’ve forgotten how to claim what we so rightfully deserve. We’ve forgotten how to get those things that we need in order to not just survive, but to truly live. Hence, we must now begin again anew, afresh, immediately. Our dreams are elusive and it takes the sharp claws, gritted teeth and finely honed vision of a hunter to chase them down, slaughter them, and then proudly drag them back into the vibrant light of our reality.
Meanwhile, the bunny grazes comfortably in the enormous meadow of possibility, dining on our potential, bathing in opportunities, and laughing at us as we silently stalk it with our bows drawn and knives sharpened. “Why?” is the wrong question. “Why not?” is what it’s all about, my friend, and the bunny is ours for the taking. Take it we must, and take it we shall.
I feel like you are starting to come on board with this idea. I sense that some small part of you knows that we are speaking the truth to you now. These words ring true. These ideas seem comfortable. A small part of you, deep inside, is twinging with excitement. Maybe you are tapping your foot, maybe a slow, wicked smirk is beginning to spread across your face, or maybe you’re reading this a little bit faster than before. That’s good, that’s very good. I can picture you sitting there, hesitantly thinking that maybe you, too, are ready to massacre an opportunity. I sense that you, too, are starting to wonder what a slaughtered dream feels like as it lies quivering in your arms, gasping for breath. This curiosity is good, right, necessary. We need this in our lives.
I promise you that killing bunnies is who we are and what we are all about.
But what, you may be asking, does one do after devouring the still twitching corpse of a realized dream? Well, it’s important to remember, young hunter, that much as a single breath sustains you for a moment, so, too, does a single meal satiate you for an afternoon, but never a lifetime. You’ll go hungry if you expect one bunny to last you forever. So what’s next, my dear love bombing accomplice, is that you head back to step one: You sharpen your axe and you go off and you begin the search again. You find yourself another bunny. And once you find this bunny, guess what you’re going to do with it? That’s right.
And so it goes, on and on and on. We find the bunny, and we kill it. Call it progress, or planning, or life, or whatever you’d like. Call it a game, a sport, or a hobby. Unless you’re busy thinking about how you want to cook your bunny for dinner tonight, you are not living up to your potential, you are not fulfilling your destiny and you are not doing what needs to be done.
Sometimes you have to indulge in a little darkness so you can enter the light.
Sharpen your fangs, my friend.
It’s time to kill a bunny.