It’s not an easy balancing act, living in this world. It’s been called the information age. I’ve also heard it called the disinformation age. We have everything at our fingertips when it comes to information, data, input. It’s all out there, and then some… It’s the “and then some” that gets us.
There is a lot of good going on in the world.
There is a lot of bad going on in the world.
The way I handle good and bad is quite different.
For some reason, with the good, I let it go. Maybe it’s poorly chosen modesty. Maybe it’s an over optimistic view of how the world should be. But when the good comes in, I smile, I am glad for it’s existence, and then I let it go. I allow the good to flow through me and let go of the feeling. It’s almost as if I expect the world to be that way so I don’t find myself surprised when I see it.
For the bad, I respond quite different. When I receive bad news, I internalize it. First I check to see if it’s my fault. If I can’t be blamed I breath a quick sigh of relief and then try to find the guilty party. Who is to blame for this evil in the world? How could they? Don’t they know they’re hurting people? Or when it’s really personal, “Don’t they know they are threatening me?” My injustice, ire and belligerence kicks in and I want it solved/fixed/removed. More importantly I don’t let go. I hold it in and hold it in.
Then to make matters worse, as I try to resolve the problem, I research the problem. I focus on the problem. I look for the culprit, trying to find the root cause and look for the resolution. I take more and more of it in.
For some problems this works… Or at least it used to feel like it worked, for the little problems. But as I’ve gotten older and the scope of my problems has expended. Or perhaps my attention has been diverted to larger problems. And the scope of my information available has expanded. I am able to take in more problems than I can hold. They come in, wave after wave, assaulting my mind. Wearing down my spirit. Filling me to capacity, and then adding just a little bit more.
There is an old saying, “that’s the straw that broke the camels back.” It means the camel had just enough weight that it could handle it with some strain and then you added just a bit more, just one more straw. I’ve never tried it, but I assume with this analogy the camel ends up a cripple and can no longer carry any loads, let alone the load it was capable of hauling just before the final straw was added.
For me, it’s the bursting point. I take in all the bad, hoping to find a resolution. And suddenly, POP!
There is so much going wrong in the world.
There is so much going right in the world.
It’s okay to want to fix it. It’s okay to look for a way to make world better.
It’s not okay to let it destroy you in the process.
My work, my great task, is to approach the action of letting the bad flow through me.
Ignorance isn’t the answer. I can’t ignore it. But I don’t have to hold onto it all. I simply can’t.
As Pollyanna says, “If you look for the bad in people, you are sure to find it.”
I can’t solve the worlds problems myself. I am not the designated judge of the worlds actions.
I just need to live my life as I hope others will and be the model of an ideal world within myself.
As I say on my email signature “Kevin is a work in progress… Which is pretty cool.”