“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I really loved our green lawn mower. It broke when I was four years old, and I cried as my dad tried to throw it away. When the garbage truck arrived, I held onto the lawn mower with all the strength my little hands could muster. You see, when I was young, I believed that objects were like people — that they had feelings and thoughts and personalities. Throwing away the lawn mower was like throwing away a family member. How could we do that?

As I grew older, I learned that my metal friend had no consciousness. I became more analytical, more absolutist — now there had to be a reason to do something. Emotions became fleeting. I trusted logic and fact instead.

I hugged that lawn mower out of instinct. It was naïve and uncalculated. Yet there was a certain truth to that gut feeling. My mission is to get back to that place. The place where I can be free to care without hard evidence; free to do things I can't always explain. I want to live, embracing that fresh simplicity.

— Kishan Madamala