Thursday, January 22, 2009

this little light of mine...

All right, it's time for a rant.

I am not dumb, naïve, ignorant, or crazy. Well, maybe a little crazy-- but even so I would consider that one of my positive traits. But this is something I really need to express because I want to use this feeling productively rather than repress it and allow it to turn to anger.

Okay, so: the world is in bad shape and good old-fashioned morality has taken a backseat to greed, power, image and the ol' dollar sign. Yeah, it sucks. Big time. People have learned to devote so much importance and value to their individual lives that many no longer feel a need or obligation to take the well-being of others or the environment into consideration when making personal choices. Those who are mindful and aware of this look upon the state of our society with shame, and I am one of those people. I understand your cynicism, and I feel your disgust.

There is also a lot of garbage in our minds. (garbage=negativity, apathy, falsehoods, etc.). Not only are we accepting of the poisons in the air but we are accepting of the poisons in our brains, and the funny thing is that many of the poisons in our brains drive us to allow the (literal and metaphorical) poisons in the air to continue. I see these problems, I know that we need a change. Somehow people have come to the conclusion that the best way to respond to these social ills is to participate in the fiasco by adopting negative attitudes, while looking upon optimism and happiness as a by-product of ignorance, blindness or naïveté. I encourage you to change your perspective: to consider that someone who is able to find happiness amidst the whole worldly mess may just be smarter than the cynics, touched with wisdom and a vision of something greater than the physical world as we perceive it.

This kind of disposition is something that I strive for. I see the greed, I see the tragedy, I see the violence. But what difference does it make to assimilate ourselves with everyone else, in shock and horror, allowing these feelings to kill our spirits and taint our interactions with others, interactions with such potential for meaning, affection, and change? Change is a loaded word these days. It begins with you. If our thoughts are clouds, then accept them, let them rain a little if you will (cuz we know our eyes must do some rainin' if we're ever gonna grow (thank you bright eyes)) and let them pass... let the sunshine through. If we hold on to all the thoughts, the negative messages, the dark stormy clouds overcasting the light, we have no hope of finding happiness, seeing the sunshine. Can you dig it?

"Reality is subjective, and there is an unenlightened tendency in this culture to regard something as "important" only if it is sober, drab and severe.When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. And you get to take yourself oh so very seriously. Your truly happy people, which is to say, your people who truly LIKE themselves, they don't think about themselves very much. Your unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up because it means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence." -Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume


Anonymous said...

I feel as though there's not enough room in this for the general, genetic disposition of a person in all this.

I'm a pretty happy dude, myself. Whether in times of good fortune or bad, I tend to mellow out fairly happily. But I know people who are the opposite. I know worriers who worry in a way that is intrinsic to them; in such a way that I don't think it's possible to divorce that person from worrying. And so I have seen depressed people, have seen pessimistic people, have seen the effects of a major loss on a person.

I just feel as though it's too easy to say happiness is better than sadness, and therefore negativity is silly. And sometimes it is, sure, but I believe there's room for reasonable sadness, for moments of despair and frustration.

I'm not in favour of people buying in to the over-glamourized terrors of the world, but I am sticking up for the idea that some sadness is valid, and healthy. A person shouldn't feel guilty if he or she is having a rough time in life, be it through his genes or just a difficult period.

Just my two cents and all; I find this stuff interesting.

becca.moon said...

thanks for your two cents... i didn't know anyone actually read this thing!

i think what i was trying to say may have been misunderstood.
i too feel that sadness, anger, and other emotions we consider "negative" (maybe the label is the problem) are just as beautiful and even necessary as joy and happiness, and a natural part of life. i do not think it's possible to be happy and positive all the time either... it's all about the ebb and flow.

i personally have been facing an anxiety disorder and a complex or two, and i definitely understand what it is to have rough patches and tough phases. but lately i feel that i have been able to find some personal solutions to these issues and i just want to share them.

what i was trying to say is that we shouldn't let the unfortunate state of the world crush our spirits and our hope, and that we should instead try to invoke the changes we want to see in the world through our micro interactions, even if they are just small acts of love.

Anonymous said...

I should have mentioned: my discomfort arose mostly from the quotation at the end, rather than the bulk of the entry. Sadness being self-indulgent and all---I mean, it's true in some cases, but it felt an unjust characterization of a very complex emotion.

I am, gladly, in full agreement about the appreciation of stuff--anything really--and about the spirited, joyful challenging of life's hurdles and such. Easier said than done, but everything is.

I think we're in more agreement than it first seemed; I just have a totally different set of language to talk about these things. I like metaphors, but I don't use 'em much.

To self-improvement, in the many forms it can take.

becca.moon said...

taken out of context, i can definitely see why that might come off the wrong way.

that passage struck a chord with me when i read it, since i think that my brand of 'unhappiness' at the time was derived from self-pity, in which case it really was just self-indulgent and silly. (in my eyes, anyway). either way, your response was thought-provoking, i appreciate it.