Somehow, that conversation took me back to a post I read a while back by Daniel Gordis about Israel. He was asked at a meal "Why would you live here?", and didn't necessarily have a great answer. But after a series of meaningful conversations the next week, he realized exactly what the answer should have been. It's a very moving post.
You live here, and you feel things that you don’t feel anywhere else. You just do. You’re part of things that you wouldn’t be part of anywhere else. You care about people you wouldn’t care about in the same way anywhere else. Other people’s stories are your stories in ways that they couldn’t be anywhere else. You cry, and you laugh, and you mourn and you celebrate, with people who elsewhere, might not matter to you at all. You may not even be sure that we should make the trade to get their kid out, but you cry when we can’t.Emotion is part of life. Sometimes, that will make it feel like life is so incredibly painful... but without those connections that can bring us that pain, we could never experience all the highs and wonder. It is important to remember this through our times of pain so we can survive them, and to better appreciate what we have so we can experience and share, and share and experience, all of those pure joys.