May 17, 2017 § 6 Comments
More and more these days, it feels as if the world is too much with me, to borrow a phrase from Wordsworth.
Between the woes at home and abroad, as you scan the headlines and timelines, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the world is ready to implode, right about now. You wouldn’t be wrong. Just the projections about global warming are enough to bring on major depression, and that’s without all the warmongering and posturing and lack of respect for human rights that characterises large parts of global politics.
And yet, and yet. If I walk way from social media, ignore the newspaper posters, and click off the radio’s marketplace patter, I see the world differently. Because every morning when I turn into my street, the security guard on the corner and I exchange enthusiastic hand-waving and thumbs-upping. In the supermarket, a few blocks away the man at the till next to me regales both the teller and everyone within earshot with his ribald, good-natured jokes. A small girl waves at me as we pass on the street, beaming up at me with doe-eyed, gap-toothed innocence. The fruit vendor at the traffic lights smiles a greeting. My neighbours and I rush into the street to see if we can help when we hear the unmistakable sound of two cars colliding.
I know I can’t bury my head in the sand. But I also know that in this always-on, always-outraged, always-informed world, we are rich in knowledge and poor in wisdom. There’s a lot to take in, and most of it isn’t quality. And if it bleeds it leads – so it’s always going to be bad news.
So sometimes, it pays to withdraw from that cycle altogether. Because believe me, the truly important news will get to you. Log out, switch off, disconnect, and reconnect to your fellow human beings in the tiny moments that make up an ordinary day.
It’s the only antidote I know – reminding yourself that it’s not the whole world that’s gone mad. There are many, many decent people all around us, every day. We just have to stop to look them in the eye sometimes, and say hello.