T’is the season… *sigh* the season for perpetual hope, miracles, positivity. Why am I not seeing it?
I think I need to take a little break from social media. As a matter of fact, anytime anything horrific happens in the news, it’s a good time to take a break from social media because everyone and their uncle Bob is going to be posting about it; gruesome pictures of dead children, horrible stories, and even worse opinions. It’s enough to drive a black cloud over even the most sunny and optimistic soul. I’m admittedly not the most sunny and optimistic soul. I like to fancy myself happily balanced between optimistic and realistic, but I know that it’s a delicate balance and one that I must maintain; too much negativity and it’s back to crippling depression-ville, population: me. So I have to watch what I take in and what I allow to infiltrate my being.
It never seems to end. Syrian refugees, then an attack in Paris, and just as soon as the chatter is starting to peter out about that and my feeds are starting to brighten again, there’s another massacre in America.
It’s just never going to stop and people are never going to stop sharing the poison and passing the kool-aid. It’s like the devil’s flu and it just never stops making the rounds. So, if I take a break anytime anything horrific happens, I will basically be taking a permanent vacation from social media, because it’s one thing after another, with maybe a brief smattering of cute or funny cats hiding out amongst the carnage. Now that we are so connected, we have to hear about every single crisis going on the world. There is always disaster happening somewhere in the world and it’s been this way since the dawn of time, we all take our turn at the whipping post, but it is only now that, unless we live under a rock, we are bombarded with the horrific details of one after another, after another. This can’t be good for our spirits. This can’t be good for our minds.
Bad things are happening in the world. They shouldn’t be ignored. But they also shouldn’t be magnified and exploited. Imagine, for a second, that someone goes into labour, or gets into a fender bender, what does everyone do? They stop and look. In the case of the fender bender, they might only slow down to look, but just about everyone does it. What does that do? It causes more people to slow down and look. Pretty soon we’re all crawling, everyone is stagnant and staring at this interesting thing that has happened. Out of all of those looky-loos, how many are actually qualified, willing, and able to do something about it? How many are needed to do something about it? But yet we all have to get our eyeful, even though it’s really only entertainment for us if we’re not there to help, able to help, or needed to help. Just like entertainment, it riles our senses, makes us feel, and makes us think. Some of us are nudging each other and sharing our thoughts, feelings, and opinions among friends, or even with whichever random stranger happens to be beside us or within earshot.
Every tragedy doesn’t need to be exploited and turned into a soapbox and a spectacle.
If you can help then help. If you aren’t qualified, willing, or able, then maybe move along and try to brighten someone’s day with some cute or funny cats or something.
As much as I try to ignore the bad, yes, I know it’s happening, no, there’s nothing I can do about it that I’m not already doing, and no, being sad about it doesn’t help anyone and just makes the world a sadder place so I’m not going to cry and be miserable, it sometimes pops up in the least expected places. A simple post, explaining that the food bank doesn’t have enough adequate food to feed people, especially with the influx of refugees, and asking people to please dig extra deep and give what they can this holiday season is a nice, reasonable post, which should have some pretty positive and uplifting feedback, no? Most of it was positive. Most of it was positive. That is worth repeating. But there always has to be the few who just cloud it up with their negativity, “why don’t they get educations and jobs?” “Dads need to step up and feed their own kids.” “Poor people are just lazy.” “It’s all the government’s fault.” “We can’t afford these Syrians.” “People steal the donations.” Like, geez, the lady asked people to give donations, not sermons and excuses. You either have and are willing to give, or you can’t or won’t give. Your choice.
My journal, my blog, is not the space for that. My space is for harmony, and hopefully fun and interesting topics. I guess when the world gets to be too much, I want to be able to come here, read the good things I’ve written, and feel happy and sparked up again. I want other people to be able to come here to get away from all the tragic and negative news in the world too. Take a break and get your head right. That’s the idea, but it’s fluid and anything can happen. I’m into freedom and flowing into the natural, not really frigid rules and censorship. So, whatever happens naturally is going to be allowed to take it’s course, alter it’s course, choose a new path, or start over again. It’s whatever.
Harmony happens when things come together and balance out to create something beautiful and magical. Believe it or not, bad things do have a place in all that. Without evil in the world, we wouldn’t understand the relevance of good. We wouldn’t be able to fathom the magnitude, the importance, of it all. Yin yang, right? Harmony happens when we learn to let go and let flow. To agree to disagree, to yearn for deeper understanding, no matter how ugly or painful the truth may be. I’ve been through some tough things, and it’s true that there is beauty to be found in even the most ugly places. All survivors know this. Okay, well maybe not if they only survived, then they might just be existing in a very hurt, bitter, and angry place; just walled off and still breathing. But people who overcome the bad, and thrive to the best of their ability despite it, do understand that there is beauty in everything, even tragedy. The ugliest things have a sliver of something beautiful in them like a golden vein running through a cold hard stone. That is the only piece worth holding onto and magnifying.
I suppose one discord with social media is the lack of balance. Sometimes it seems as if the darkness is just pummelling the crap out of the light and people are complacently just drinking and sharing the toxic kool-aid, treating it like it’s some sort of medicine when it’s really just a cleverly disguised poison. The more darkness I see, the more light I must shine. That’s my new motto. Probably for a few days until I think of something even more clever, gotta let go and let flow – ooh, that’s another good one! I’m on a roll!
The other discord is usually found in the comments sections. People always have to feel right. Even when they’re wrong. I’m not innocent, here. I won’t pretend to be perfect. I’m not even close. But I find that no matter how horrible, wrong, and bad we find someone’s opinions or beliefs to be, it’s always better to sincerely seek to understand why they feel and think the way they do, rather than trying to shame or coerce them into our way of thinking, or to just flat out deride them with memes and jokes. So many people tend to take this futile tactic, which just doesn’t work, although, it is easier and prettier. I’ll give it that. Haha, it’s the slutty way out. (I don’t advocate calling women sluts, no matter how open they are with their sexuality, but that’s another topic. The term just seemed germane here, so I took the liberty.)
When I was learning how to train my dogs, two tiny little things, a chihuahua named Beanie, my boy, and a Papillon named Daisy, my girl, I learned how to get them to cooperate on the leash and the instructions always stood out to me and I never forgot them.
If you pull on the leash with constant pressure, the pups nature will be to pull back with equal pressure.
The pup won’t go willingly, but will have to be dragged along. This is kinda mean and not exactly the desired outcome.
The key is to pulse the leash. For my tiny little dogs it is a light flick of the wrist, that gives and takes. Gives pressure, yields to pressure, then gives pressure again. In order to be understood, you must give some understanding. I sometimes see interrogative questioning which is used only as a condescending way to gather information to be used to win the argument, and that isn’t at all what I’m talking about. Seeking to understand and gathering ammunition are two totally different things, and people know, can sense, the difference.
It’s counterintuitive to ignore negativity, to try to understand people we see as bad, rather than shame and condemn them. But I feel that is the way to bring about balance. If the sensationalism died down then I think the tragedies would follow suit. If open communication and understanding without condemnation was encouraged, angry, hurt people would post hurtful and angry manifestos and be met with love, would be compelled with the power of love. When suicides became less publicized, the suicide rates dropped. We need to focus on what we want and magnify that. We need to magnify good, and diminish bad. That’s what I try to do, and I hope others can do the same. It’s really all some of us can do.
I suppose I will sign off by quoting Mother Theresa:
“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
Oh, and commenters, assuming that there are any, please don’t pipe up to inform me that Mother Theresa isn’t quite the saint that everyone thinks she is, or that she’s done this terrible thing or that. I don’t care. It’s not my business, or my focus. Whatever bad she’s done doesn’t take away from the wisdom and aptness of the quote, or the good that she’s done which has, wisely, been the focus until the internet know-it-alls had to come along and start digging for dirt and ruining everything for everyone. If that’s you, feel free to give it a rest.