Have you noticed how many people appear to be coming unglued at the seams these days? No wonder. Chaos and unrest and George Orwell’s 1984 play out on newscasts and social media streams 24 hours a day. As Thomas Paine, that stalwart purveyor of common sense, once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
His statement begs an interesting question, though. Have there ever been times that didn’t try men’s souls? You know, those moments in time when life was nothing but sunshine and lollipops and cute puppies?
I guess the real question, cliche as it may be, isn’t the degree of wretchedness that surrounds us—because there’s always going to be a certain degree of wretchedness. The question is how we’ll move through it without getting caught up in it, and who we’ll become because of it. Or in spite of it.
When it comes right down to it, most of us aren’t in search of darkness, whether it’s the destruction of other people, places, or things—or even ourselves. Most of us are busy trying to figure out this amazing adventure we call life. We mind our manners, love our friends and families, cheer for our favorite sports teams and offer a smile to those we come in contact with. Some days we’re on top of the world, some days we fall flat, and some days we drown our disappointments in a bowl of ice cream. Or maybe it’s just me. 🙂
Basically, most of us are good people, regardless of what others would have us believe. And in order for us to continue to be good on the inside—to cultivate love and kindness and a sense of social decorum, if you will—sometimes we need to concentrate on what we’re bringing in from the outside. Because that outside world can really do a number on our inner sensibilities.
It can even make us question whether the chaos and madness and world-gone-wild is the rule and not the exception. At that point, it’s easy to allow hope to fade. And that simply won’t do.
Luckily, though, we have each other. And when we intentionally seek out each other, when we look for the good and laughter and the hope, we can muddle through just about anything together. And if there’s a cute puppy thrown into the mix every now and then, all the better.
Until next time,