I'm writing this post with a cyber friend in mind. In his last post, he sounded very depressed about the state of the world, and in particular, racism in America as revealed with this current election process. And no, he's not black; he's white. He announced that he's going on a vacation for a few days to get away from it all. I hope he has a great time.
I want to tell you, all of you, that I think most people are intrinsically good. The includes the ordinary person and civil servants, from those up high to fire fighters, social workers, teachers, and the guys who do landscaping on the side of the road.
What we have in common is an affection for our friends, the places we go, and the family members, who for better or worse, love us and are loved by us.
As a nation, we are one big family.
We're in it together whether we like it or not. We have our feuds and our favorites. Sometimes we treat each other horribly, other times we make sacrifices for others that we don't have to. Often we don't want to, but end up doing it in the way of our taxes, or resisting the urge to be nasty to someone who we may think is deserving of our abuse.
Stories about good rarely make the news, and almost never make the headlines. This is why:
Once upon a time, there a boy. He was a good boy. He obeyed his parents, respected his neighbors and teachers, and worked hard to learn the things he needed to know in life. He was comfortable in his relationship with God, yet never put down the way others worshipped.
As a young man, he met a nice woman who had a nearly identical childhood. They met while volunteering to help a disadvantaged group. Later, they fell in love, married, and raised three fine children, who walked in their parents' footsteps.
When this man became old, he looked back over his life. It had been as he was - good. He was lonely for his wife for several years after she passed away in her mid-70s, but he had faith that he would see her again in heaven. His children visited him often, and gave him a nice older dog from the animal shelter to keep him company.
After living a life of happily ever after, he passed away at the age 82 with no regrets. His funeral was attended by his children, grandchildren, former co-workers, neighbors, and several people from the disadvantaged groups that he helped in his community.
A story about this guy at any point in his life would not make the news.
Nice stories tend to be boring to the masses. We like drama with our morning coffee and evening news. We always have; even the Bible is full of drama. We know that perfect lives are rarely lived, and that if you scratch the surface of anyone's life or develop the magical ability to read their minds and hearts, you'll uncover something about them that's not nice. This is true of ourselves too.
This doesn't mean others aren't basically good; it only means that they aren't perfect. Much of the bad or truly evil things others do is based on fear. Fear of peer pressure, rejection, humiliation, poverty, the list is long and possibly infinite. Often fear is based on not having the full view of everything that is going on... in other words, ignorance.
The news and Internet is full of anger, but under that anger is fear. This is why this presidential election has stirred up so many people from all political camps - people are consumed with fear of the future, each for their own reasons and based on their view of the world. News junkies and bloggers run the risk of burnout from absorbing the fears, anger, truth, lies, misinformation, and ignorance of others.
As I sit here in my comfortable chair, I ask myself, why do I blog?
Fear. Fear for my people, in particular, and a love for all people, my country, and planet, in general. I have a wish to share what I know in the hopes that it could help someone else, or at the least, entertain them. I never care if others disagree with my points; we learn from this. It is only when someone is hateful that I ban them from leaving comments.
I understand that we don't see much 'feel good' news, and it's easy for many of us to become unhappy and even bitter when we read bad news, particularly if it might one day negatively affect us.
A periodic vacation from all this helps. All of us are part of the whole, but we are still a part, and apart.
This is a double-edged sword.
By being a part of the whole, we have the opportunity to interact with one another in positive and negative ways.
By being apart from the whole, we can feel lonely and bitter, or we can take a breather, relax, think about and do what makes us happy as an individual.
When we lose ourselves in something that makes us happy, it's almost like being a child again.
Playtime is a good time to refuel your mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. It's whatever makes you lose yourself into an activity. Fishing, camping, bowling, playing ball, swimming, going to an amusement park, dancing, sex with someone you truly trust, etc.
Being glued to the Internet and reading or watching bad news on TV is not a substitute for playtime.
Nice stories don't get ratings. Horror stories and tragedies do. For example, if the above nice guy had been killed with his kids in a head-on collision by a drunk driver, we might see a news story about this, but even then, little about his goodness and more about the irresponsibility of the driver.
Negative news stories focus on a few lives out of hundreds of millions of lives, and leave us with the false impression that many people are bad if not downright evil. A small percentage of the population are, but I stand with my belief that most people are good - or at least good enough. Even folks who piss us off royally usually have redeeming qualities.
You have heard that we all have an inner child. We actually have two inner childs; one good and one bad. The good one is happy and has the ability to have fun and play. The bad one is sad, consumed with fear, may be mean-spirited, and sucks in general.
Every now and then, pull the plugs on your TV and Internet, get in touch with your happy inner child - and play.