Published March 14, 2011
Losing all hope is easy enough. That’s probably always been the case, but with the overflow of information, opinion and news at our fingertips at every instant, falling into the void now feels somehow especially effortless.
And sure enough, there is plenty to be saddened or upset or infuriated or distraught or enraged by. Just check any comments section of any news story of any website if you want to feel like hacking off all your limbs with a dull and rusty blade to ensure slow but certain death.
I am fairly susceptible to this. I spend a lot of time reading news and comment boards and stories. Sometimes I am even confronted by awful things in real life, out on the street. The accumulated effect sometimes gets the best of me, and my befouled temper sometimes even taints the very editorials I write on these pages. Yes, there have been plenty of ‘losing all hope’ sentiments expressed in these pages, written in moments of weakness and little faith.
By allowing myself to succumb to this dark pit of despair, and by allowing it to infect whatever message I choose to send through these editorials, I am failing myself and I am failing you, reader. I am taking the sentiments that drain us of power and hope and I am amplifying them and adding to them. This is not acceptable.
Because, you know, while it’s easy to momentarily lose sight of all the inspiring awesome that’s out there, it’s still out there. Allowing oneself to be blinded and drained by imbibing a bunch of dreck, instant gratification and Charlie Sheen on-line or through the media is lazy, and it is easily avoidable. The world remains full of great things: of love and ideas and science and kittens and boyfriends and girlfriends and theories and grandmothers and hard work and magnets and music and literature and thoughtful commentary. Of good friends and good people.
You just need to actively seek them out, keep them in mind and approach the universe in a welcoming and joyful manner.
Listen: I’m not urging anyone to turn into some sort of joy-zombie that giggles and coos at everything and shits double rainbows and thoughtlessly thinks everything is excellent and questions nothing. You’ve got me all wrong, man. That’s not the idea at all.
No the idea was simply to remind you, if you’d forgotten, that there is a great big world out there, and that a lot of it is pretty damn cool. You wield a great power with your much lauded ‘freedom of choice’— you can very effectively shape your universe just by putting some thought into what you choose to ingest and how you digest it.
You have absolute control over your perception of the world around you, and you should exert it more often.
Instead of reading junk news and poorly written blogs, why not subscribe and pay for a researched and fact-checked investigative journal? Instead of watching YouTube clips of funny dogs or people falling down stairs or nipple slips (all of which make for a great time), why not read a book (a good one).
Y’know, choose the home cooked meal over the hamburger, hanging out with a friend instead of chatting with him over Facebook. Fight for a cause you believe in instead of bitching about it on your blog.
It sounds wonderfully simple and easy on paper. It might be harder in reality. But let’s give it a shot, huh? It’ll be fun.