I’ve had a couple of people tell me today that they enjoyed reading my blogs. As you can see, that’s the only encouragement it takes for me to start writing again. After all, the words are always spinning around in my head so why not put it down on the internet for all to praise, snarf or chortle at. (Teacher Parental Units aside, yes, I will end a sentence in a preposition when it feels right.)
The state of our world: does anyone have this nailed down? My typical stance and/or reaction to people’s grousing about how things are so much worse now than they ever were is, “No, things are not worse. We simply HEAR about all the bad stuff that happens in every part of the world except Australia’s outback and not only once but every hour on the hour if you have any news channel tuned in on the television.” Evil television.
Now I like movies and a good story as much as anyone does but what I’ve figured out is this: half hour sitcoms and 24-hour news are both damaging to one’s psyche for different reasons. The half hour sitcom, along with mindless jokes, taped laugh tracks (because we don’t know when to laugh if left to our own devices) and language dumbed down enough to bore a six year old not only rot your brain but portray a half-assed, gargantuan lack of enthusiasm for anything more concrete and thought provoking than body part jokes. (I was going to say fart jokes but that’s only too true and too gross.)
Whereas news is sincere and vital to our knowledge of events farther away than our neighbor’s latest scandal (hopefully it goes without saying that I’m not referring to Faux News here), the incessant influx of bad news from around the world convinces us that indeed the world is a scary place and around every corner lies someone waiting to kidnap your child, rip off your 95-year-old Mother or steal your identity by hacking your computer. And that’s only the first 4 minutes of news. By the time we hear an hour’s worth we may find ourselves sticking our heads into the sand hoping we’re ostriches who can’t be seen by anyone else. (Hey, do these jeans make my butt look big when my head’s lower than my feet?)
The Supreme Court has just returned us to corporate/union dominated elections. Haiti breaks my heart yet inspires me every time I see those wonderful people being pried from the ground singing and blessing their life forces. Iraq and Afghanistan continue to stumble on their paths to nowhere. England is not the place to be right now if one believes in terror alerts. Republicans say “no” to everything on the grounds that a Democrat came up with the idea, while our $4,000 a year insurance premiums thrive and I eschew the use of most doctors because the $4,000 doesn’t include co-pays and deductibles.
We live in a small world these days. What we do ripples events a long way from home. But do we really need to know all about every ripple? If we were to Golden-Rule the events and the people in our lives (yes, I did just verb another noun) would it be enough to be aware that positive begets positive?
I’m really not sure where I’m going with this except to say that sometimes it’s just as well to only know what is happening in your own small neck o’ the woods. Sometimes that is enough. Tend to your own, do the right thing, love those around you. Make that cheery phone call, send a card, sit in silence. Tranquility begins at home. If we are happy at home it’s difficult to wish anything other than happiness for anyone else.
I’ve discovered that turning off the tube, even my brand new flat screen which I adore, is the key to my return of peaceful sanity. Listening to the wall clock tick while gazing out into our back woods is top of the list serenity. I know there are many wonderful places in the world to visit and I want to get to them, but for now seven sleeping furballs, soft Leonard Cohen tunes, my digital camera and nature make this small portion of Missouri seem like heaven on earth. Which I’m convinced that it is.
Cutie owl in our front yard