Are You Real?

Are you real?

What does it mean to be “real”?

For that I turn to, “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams.

The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a toy rabbit and his quest to become “real.” On his journey he meets the wise, old Skin Horse (and we all need a wise, old Skin Horse on the journey) and the following conversation ensues.

"For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him...the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces…

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.’"

Are you tired of the world of “expensive,” “fancy,” or “sophisticated” toys - because you know what is real?

Have you loved, and been loved, so much, so intensely, that you hair has worn off, eyes have dropped out and gotten a bit loose in the joints, but you don’t care what it looks like to the outside world - because you know what is real?

Have you been bruised, battered and broken through long, cold, dark, lonely nights of grief and suffering, and yet, keeps picking yourself up, and moving back out into the world to live and love, refusing to be broken - because you know what is real?

Or do you simply want to cut through the crap, live a life that matters and be real? 

That my friends is real.

 Keep on keeping it real.

Baruch HaLevi