A recent graphic reminded me that it’s important to keep things in perspective. For all the edge-of-your-seat stories in the news, it pays to remember that we live in a capitalist society where “news” is entertainment and where large corporate entities decide what it is that you see and hear on the media.
A lot of folk have gone from thinking about government irregularly at best to being obsessed by government. One might think that’s a good thing — that people should care about their representative form of government. But when the care is paranoia about things that may or may not be real issues and certainly aren’t nearly as crucial as the media might have you think — well, maybe “care” needs to be moderated with perspective.
I mentioned something in a return comment to a reader the other day but I want to bring it to the fore this morning. We are just humans. We didn’t create the world. We are certainly having an impact on the planet but in greater terms we are pretty insignificant. I have appreciated this meme attributed to Carl Sagan:
On the GRAND SCALE OF THINGS we really aren’t such hot stuff. We are the tiniest bit of intelligence in an otherwise unbelievably grand universe and even our most damaging wars will mean next to nothing in universal history. Even the longevity of the human race is but a blink of an eye to the cosmic consciousness. Give yourself a break. Take a breath. And don’t stress over things you aren’t going to fix and have very little (if any) influence over.
Jobs and healthcare and human rights are important; but they are still a small part of life and there are a lot of ways to live a productive life that go beyond focussing on who’s doing what in Washington. No government is ever going to fix all the problems of life. We were always going to be on our own dealing with whatever life sent our way — and sometimes we just have to knuckle under and deal with the cards life dealt us, and not with the ones we think we should have gotten.
The people in your life — more than likely — will be the ones who strengthen you or weaken you as you go through whatever life has in store for you. Pick them carefully, and consciously. If you are surrounded by people who actually care about you you’ll find that life is easier because there really is truth to the old adage that “joys shared are multiplied and sorrows shared are divided.”
It’s easy to collect acquaintances in life — you know, those people who hang around the edges of your life and take time and energy to maintain but aren’t really friends; aren’t really the ones you can count on for anything. It’s hard to collect real friends. Real friends care about you as much as you care about them and there is no way that you can decide who they will be. Their friendship is something that emanates from them — based first upon how you treat them. If you respect and cherish them there is some chance that they will return the relationship but you can’t dictate that they will. And many won’t. They will accept your friendship and affection but give nothing in return. That’s not a statement about you; that’s a statement about them: they are takers.
But those who are true… guard them, nourish them, treasure them because they will help you through the worst that life has to offer.
I find myself irritated by the media and by people who make a huge fuss over physical beauty. Sure — it’s nice to look at a handsome guy, a beautiful woman, but everyone ages and no one looks like a model forever. That is life. We age and I have to tell you that the people I have wanted to be around most in my life weren’t the ones who were impressed with their own appearances, they were the ones who cared about others and who shared their lives and their concern with people who could do nothing for them.
Yeah — there’s a lot of uncertainty in this world. That has always been true. Yes, there’s a lot of inequality in this world. That too has always been true. But if you want to get through with your sanity intact you need to find ways of letting go of the preoccupation with that negative and find the good.
Start by not taking life quite so seriously.