I am becoming despondent… no, not despondent, that’s the wrong word (though there may be an element of that within it). Though I think it is more of a ‘dis-‘ thing than a ‘des-‘ thing.
I am becoming… (reaching for the dictionary [yes I still keep one of those], looking for words beginning with ‘dis-‘, yes it is definitely a ‘dis-‘ thing)… ah, yes… disillusioned… disgusted… disaffected. Yes, all of those, in different measures.
It’s this world, you see. There is nothing solid or anchored or resolute. No firm ground on which to stand – as a person, as an individual – to make any sense or reason of what is now going on, in the world or even in a more local community setting. And perhaps what is more disturbing, even, or perhaps especially, in one’s own personal life.
And I, someone who has a whole lifetime of experiences, widely ranging experiences, of periods of time vastly different to these confusing and unsettled times we now endure (I think the word ‘endure’ is the correct one there), feel deep concern for those of us who do not yet have such grounding experiences – the young – especially the millennials – who have known little or nothing else other than such a vapid, frivolent, vaccuous, meaningless and hopeless existence as is the prevalent outlook of life in the here and now. What chance of forming meaningful adult life-attitudes do these young people have in their teen years, their twenties and perhaps even those currently in their thirties – tasked hopelessly with bringing up as rounded people, children of their own – when they themselves do not have a life that is structurally firm and grounded. And whose fault is all that? At whose feet is that problem going to be laid?
Well, some might say that it is my generation, our shortcomings, our greed, our communal blindness, our lack of foresight, our ignorance as to what we were doing, that was/is at the base of the issue. And it is an issue – though there are still many of the older generations still blind to the situation. But that point of view is largely irrelevant now, and perhaps no matter what has been done in the past, every soul currently living on this planet is guilty of not being willing to do a blind thing to change anything in their lives to correct the matters that are increasingly, though for now only marginally pressing their forces of curtailment and constraint upon our lifestyles.
Even if there are some now, no-one will soon be in a position to harbour any doubt that there are matters over which we have no control whatsoever, nor recourse to alter or reshape, which are going to disrupt and disturb (and possibly other ‘dis-‘ words too) our way of life, even prematurely ending that life for many of us, in the days, weeks, months and years that lie ahead.
COVID-19 is not, repeat not, our main problem (though goodness knows it has impacted so many lives and many aspects of life for so many others, and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future), but will be just perhaps a mere nuisance in comparison to what lies ahead in terms of actual large-scale problems. I’m not going to enumerate those issues here. We all know what they are. We talk about them incessantly. But it is just so much hot air. Nothing ever gets done. Nothing will ever get done. And so we must expect, or not expect – it doesn’t matter either way – to have to pay the price of the consequences of our laissez-faire attitude. Whether we then like it or not.
There. That is a little bit, not the whole by any means, of that which lies at the root of my despondency, disillusionment, disgust and disaffection. Nothing I can do, nothing I can say, will alter any of that. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. I in fact care deeply. So deeply that it hurts to read about what goes on in our world, to discuss the problems which have no solutions, to express my views, pour out my heart, here and elsewhere, to a very small audience. While I know that, continuously, things which don’t matter, frivolous things, things of no consequence, are mass-broadcast into the ears, eyes and minds of virtually every living person, all the time. And those things are constantly absorbed equally by the minds of little babes through to the senile elderly and everyone in between, just like sponges take up water.
I prefer to dissociate (another ‘dis-‘ word) myself from all that constant noise as much as possible, in order to maintain what I think is a balanced outlook (and a sane mind) uncluttered by the affairs of a world which will soon – when the cacophony of constant noise and propaganda is forcefully terminated and the dust has settled – eventually emerge as a quieter, more natural, but smaller and simpler world.
And so I will not plan to be spending endless hours reading, watching, listening, and sifting out the gems of truth and illumination from the mixture of lies and garbage produced daily by anywhere near the amount I have frequently been doing, except for other than a few chosen sources, and scraps that serendipitously come my way. Thus freeing myself from much of the hurt and pain that such processes engender and from the need to constantly fix and mend the damage to my psyche that ensues from such practices. And like George Carlin used to say – “Nobody listens. Nobody cares.”
In the end it is up to every individual to self-inform. And for those who don’t, well, they do say, don’t they, that “ignorance is bliss”.