*This is a thought dump. It may seem cheesy, ignorant, negative, all of the above. Don’t judge. Let’s chat.*
It does feel as though the world is going mad at the moment, doesn’t it? Some people have said that as one gets older the world becomes more complex, which to a degree, is true. But given that I’ve been pretty aware of the going ons in the world for over a decade I actually feel quite qualified to claim that I feel as though the world is going mad.
And with it, I feel totally and utterly overwhelmed. I’ve stopped, for the sake of my sanity and emotional completeness, taking an interest in world affairs. I just can’t deal with it anymore. Do I feel awful and guilty for that? Of course. The world is falling apart for so many people and I can’t even take the time to read about it. Nor have the courage to take it in.
Am I turning my back? Am I being selfish? Yes. But then also, no. Because, there is nothing I can do about it. I can kick and scream along with the rest for things to change, I can sign petitions, and I can donate money, but really, there is nothing I can do to stop the world going mad.
I re-evaluated what I meant by the ‘world’ and my place within it. I’m right, there is nothing I can do for the people in Gaza or Syria or those being hit by ebola besides send some money, sign some petitions, and if I was religious, pray for them. There’s nothing I can do about fracking, or the Amazon deforestation, or oil spills in Nigeria. There’s nothing I can do for the orangutans losing their lives to palm oil, to the rhinos being poached, to the fish stocks being depleted. Not really. I’m not a politician or a celebrity or a rich company CEO with the power of capitalism behind me.
But the point is that it’s not about one person changing the world (as much as many of us would like to), it’s about each of us changing our own world – that immediate world around each of us – for the better. By making sure the world in which we directly inhabit is a better place we can contribute in our own small way to stopping the world as a whole from going mad. We can shed a bit of lightness in a world where all we hear are the horror stories. We can make sure there are still things to appreciate and smile about. By filling our own worlds with everything the counters all the bad things happening – gratitude, empathy, morality, ethics, positivity, wholesomeness – we can change things, bit by bit.
Idealistic? Definitely. Realistic? I don’t see why not. Do I seem like a spoilt brat who’s never had to worry about anything? Maybe. But…
It’s not hard for me to make someone smile, to make people around me feel good about themselves, appreciated. It’s not hard for me to help people achieve their dreams using my skills, my networks, and my knowledge and time when I can. I guess it’s the philosophy of ‘pay it forward’ or ‘random acts of kindness’. It’s not hard for me to help the elderly person across the road, or give a homeless person a sandwich. It’s not hard for me to help someone with a pushchair onto a bus. It’s not hard for me to help someone who’s feeling down to see the silver lining. It’s not hard for me to use my experiences to help others – to send those kids to school in Zimbabwe, to get some clothes for a village to make them feel happier, to organise a run to India to raise money for a kids home.
So rather than me feeling overwhelmed by the world going mad, I’m concentrating on where I can make an actual difference – by making the world within my reach a better happier place and in doing so, I hope this will naturally spur others to do the same.
However, as a final note, this does not mean I will stop fighting and kicking and screaming about the injustices and evil in the wider world. I can now just do it with more gumption and conviction than I apathetically was before.
This post is dedicated to the Holky. A wonderful group of ladies who are a constant source of inspiration and admiration in this way!