Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't let the ugly block out the beauty, he said

I've been thinking about my belief system, recently, and how I cope with one of its dichotomies.

I believe there is a lot of great good in the world, and that I should enjoy it. I believe I should be conscious of light and beauty, should let it give me joy and that doing otherwise would be ungrateful.

I believe there is a lot of unacceptable evil in the world. I believe I should be conscious of this and that willfully ignoring it would be irresponsible.

These two beliefs still clash frequently. I will be looking forward to a day of beautiful football, when something will remind me that there are many who "look forward" with fear and dread only. And then I'm not sure how I should feel.

I don't think I should live out my life in a constant sympathetic depression. That just doesn't feel productive . . .

Ah-ha. That's my coping mechanism. Whenever I hear about a problem (a problem I actually care about; there are many that don't move me) my tendency is to immediately wonder: Who is doing what about this?

Then I google it.

I always find something, and it always gives me hope and inspires me to, at the least, really want to act myself.

I like productive. I like hope. I like concrete and tangible. I like the idea of progress. I like the Chinese(?) proverb: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Seriously, would it be better for me to go into perpetual mourning over all the darkness in the world, or look for the people with the candles, light one myself and then try to pass on the flame?

Anyway, that's what I've been thinking about. I'm going to try to enjoy everything enjoyable with enthusiasm and zero guilt. I also don't intend to ignore problems or accept evil. But along with consciousness of problems and real evil, I'm going to focus on who is giving me hope by doing productive, tangible things to progress our world. And I'm going to remember (and remind people, sorry) that we all can (and I believe should) help with human progress. (Unless you're an alien or something, though Kal-EL believes he should help his adoptive planet . . . )

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