Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 8, 2004
Back From Sombre Wednesday
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 8, 2004 – Today has been a revival of sorts. I’ve wallowed and now waded through the angst of the past couple of days. I’ve allowed external forces to move me away from the calm centre that exists within. I’m tough and I always bounce back.
It’s a talent that I’ve nurtured over the years, and at my core I’m invincible. Not immune from illness, sadness and eventual death but internally, strong as steel. In spite of this strength, I still get overwhelmed by the negativity that confronts me and intersects with my life.
Daily frustrations are too numerous to mention, stupidity is all encompassing, rudeness has become an acceptable response to an innocent query, drivers are erratic and impatience is at an all time high. We are moving too fast. The wheels are coming off and many of us are screeching to a halt. My last two days have been like that – a jumble of emotional chaos. I could make a fortune with a drive-through called “Instant Stress Relief”.
It may be ever thus. As much as we may wish it to be different, people are essentially selfish. With the exception of the odd saint or two, their own interests are forefront in their minds. Maybe this is where great creativity is borne – from the concentrated effort of wringing the last vestige of creative energy from one’s mind. How could you then be thinking of others first? I think the difference with our world today is that many, if not most, people face each morning with a deeply held sense of personal entitlement.
On a small scale – “I can yell at my staff. I can butt into traffic. I can demean my spouse or children. I have a right to behave this way, I can bully someone who is weaker, I can hurt this animal – it’s only a stupid dog”. On a larger scale – “We can take over this country, we can destroy this forest, we can drill here for oil, we can wipe out this species of bird, we can take advantage of these silly investors, we can intimidate or shackle these inferior women and children, we can use up these resources, we can punish these people because they’re not like us” and on and on it goes.
Somewhere along the way, in this fast paced world, individual people and the collective that forms nation(s) have abandoned kindness, tenderness, generosity, love, respect, laughter, compassion, fairness and decent behaviour. In their stead mankind has developed selfish, brutal, oppressive, greedy and uncaring ways.
However a small spark shines in the dark. At a soul level, people know that it matters how they treat one another and the world. It won’t happen in my lifetime – but I have faith in the innate goodness of most people.
Just as I’m able to let disappointment run its course and a sense of optimism take its place, I can foresee a time when the accumulated goodness, of which people are capable, tipping the scale in the world, to replace the hatred and anger that seems to be in the ascendency now. People are hungry for quiet, peace, love and respect. In spite of dark days – I’m ever hopeful.