Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Perception vs. Reality

I have come to the conclusion that the constant bombardment of traumatic images from every corner of the world is terrible for my mental health. News media outlets constantly stream images of unprecedented human suffering. It seems to me that they try and out do each other for sensational headlines. I have had enough. The heart wrenching images from Japan, the bombings in Libya, the protests in the Middle East.

The media outlets distort fact, and quote out of context to make the story conform to what the author of the story thinks it should conform to. People don't report on the truth...they report on what their idea of the truth should be. Well my glass is full and I am saying when. In times that appear as dark as these I think it is my moral obligation to seek out some light. I am generally fairly cynical. I don't hold my fellow man in very high regard, and I think maybe the stupid folks have outbred the smart folks.

I thought long and hard about that tonight, and I have come to the conclusion that with a steady diet of the above mentioned, it would be impossible to think anything else. So what to do about it? Do I blame the media, and everyone else that perpetuates the media hype? Sure, I could take that route. But, I don't think any satisfaction will be gained from that. It will just be business as usual. I can say a heartfelt fuck you to everything and everyone, and withdraw into solitude. Give up on the world and just isolate myself with the bitterness. I have thought about that more than once. People do that every day, and quite frankly I think that is just the easy way out.

I have lived through a lot. I have seen, and experienced things in my life that even I have trouble believing. I have experienced more loss in a month, than some people experience in their entire lives, and I just keep picking myself up and plugging away.

While contemplating all of this I took stock. I have a fantastic home. I live in one of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen. I have a woman in my life who truly loves me unconditionally. Her family loves me, my family loves me, and I have friends that would be by my side at anytime no matter what. In short, I have a life that some people can only dream about.

So keeping that in the forefront in thought and action combats the fact it just plain cancels it out. Sure there are horrible atrocities being committed everyday. But, there are great things being done by people of all walks of life regardless of religion, status, nationality, or race. Spreading positive, reporting on someone helping their fellow man, taking the time to provide a service for someone in need. These are all things that can be done by everyone everyday. Keeping that in mind can allow me to take responsibility for my own part in the great scheme of things...change my outlook, focus on the beauty, and spread that word. Maybe we are not all going to hell in a hand basket...Bob Marley said "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively". You can chalk that up to the musing of a guy that smoked a lot of weed, and sang songs for a living. But he believed it wholeheartedly, and his conviction was tested several times. He was steadfast in his beliefs...walked the walk as well as talking the talk. So I am going to try that route. That might be the answer for might not but it is something!