Right now it’s pretty depressing to live in the U.S.. Or I should say, “if you’re paying attention it’s a pretty depressing place to be.”
The ongoing sagas about corruption, and racism, and sexual abuse and gun violence are almost enough to make someone want to do something harmful. But I have to tell you, I have one solution for depression that never fails me.
When I’m feeling that things can’t get any worse all I need to do is find a mother and child and sit for a few minutes and listen to them interact.
There’s something wonderful about the way of a mother with her child. The way the child prattles on, and the way the mom makes sense of the nonsensical, the way she finds ways to teach the unteachable, the way she is inspired to think beyond her own troubles and to nurture and patiently get that little one ready for the great big world that awaits them. Sitting and listening to a mother and child interacting are the best medicine I could ask for.
Peg and I happened to be at IKEA yesterday. It seems that we burned our one big candle to the nub and we were in need of another. HUGE purchase that was going to be. All of $3.00, but what the heck, the IKEA ones are cheaper than Target’s and the IKEA store is closer than any other store other than Walmart and if I have my druthers I’ll shop anywhere but Walmart unless I am forced to do otherwise.
I can’t say we have the floorplan memorized by now. The store only opened for business less than (I think) one year (although it’s possible that my time-challenged brain might be in error on that). Anyway… we stop in once a month or more. For us it’s as good as going to the mall to walk. By the time we have walked the store we’ve done about 3000 steps so it’s a bit of a start on our daily exercise and as IKEA FAMILY members we get free coffee at the cafe. Can’t beat that deal!
We were coming through the checkout line and over on the side of the cafeteria, near the windows I spotted a mom and what I took to be a 2 or 3 year old. Even across the room I could see both of their mouths chattering away with animation so I carried out coffees and sat us down at the next table, with me facing away from them, and Peggy able to see them.
What a delight. No matter where the little one’s conversation wandered mom had a little bit of something to teach her, and remind her about; they played memory games, they talked about things important to the little one, like the correct hame of Pumbah, and other such earth shattering-ly important details.
My point in bringing this up is simple. In the midst of corruption, and malfeasance in office, at a time when men and women in power are cowering from their duty while others are attempting to drag the reluctant ones out into the open, all you need do is to look at the natural inclinations of a mother for her child to see that there is hope for the world; there is good amid evil; there are prospects and not just consequences. The world isn’t as dark as it seems. There’s not only a light at the end of the tunnel, there’s a whole solar system!
With the impeachment hearings going on in Washington it’s important to remember that your life and mine may be altered unchangeably by the actions or inactions of government — but their actions or inactions are not all that are going on in the world. There is good too. There is life and hope and the promise of better things.
Don’t tire of doing good even if all you hear around you is evil. Don’t harden yourself to the wrongs that evildoers pretend are harmless and don’t let your sense of values normalize that evil. But at the same time don’t grow disheartened. Don’t give up your fight for what’s good and valuable in this life. And don’t give up on your family, your friends, and your loved ones. If for no other reason than making the world better for them, stand up for what’s right, refuse the wrong, and teach your children well.