The world is on serious information overload. Everywhere we look we are bombarded with up-to-the-second news of horrible, evil, scumbaggy, criminal, shocking, OMG, unbelievable acts of depravity.
And then Congress takes a break.
Not to make light of things that are happening today, but we really need to make light of things that are happening today. It used to be that we all got our news once a day, sometimes twice (newspaper in the morning and then evening news) and then we went about our lives, blissfully unaware of the world at large because we were completely immersed in our OWN world: family, work, friends, those were the sharp focus of our lives.
Now the outside world intrudes constantly. It bangs on the door, jumps us as we ‘round the corner, blocks our way, screams at us incessantly… It is everywhere – TV, ads, internet, updates on phones, Facebook, Instagram… we cannot escape it. All the craziness and horror that can be conceived by the blackest, deepest puts of humanity is pushed in our faces All. The. Time.
Jokes have become downright mean. TV has become a showcase for viciousness masquerading as entertainment. Celebrities are alternatively revered and reviled as we discover that they are less/more than we demand them to be. Good manners and common sense have become quaint relics of another time. We celebrate bad behavior in sports “stars”. People who do not believe everything that we believe are loathed and reviled, and visa versa. Rumor is forwarded around the internet as fact. The polite phrase “excuse me” has come to mean “GET OUTTA MY WAY!”
Everyone has a myopic opinion about the state of the economy, international affairs, the housing crisis, the banking crisis, the ethics crisis, the state of our state… and everyone is LOUD. Politics is loud. Religion is loud. Rumor is loud. Panic is loud. Rebellion is loud. Everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs and no one is slowing down to listen to or even NOTICE the other side.
You people are yelling and pushing and shoving yourselves into heart attacks!
So, my idea is this: LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE! Humorlessness in the face of the very serious state of the world is NOT going to make the world any better. People tend to shy away from others who take themselves too seriously because those kinds of people just aren’t any fun to be around. The impact of your words is not improved by sheer volume, nor is your cause helped by jumping into a light discussion with diatribes.
Personally, I think we need more whimsy in our lives. Frogs, spas, singing stars, LOL moments… indulging in silly pastimes, read the comics, play with the dog, tease the cat, watch the butterflies flit like drunken sailors, eat ice cream, roll your eyes as people who predict the end of the world in two years, jump in a rain puddle, watch old Bugs Bunny cartoons with your kids – or by yourself! – sneak out and catch a movie in the middle of the afternoon, listen to vintage Bill Cosby, take a bubble bath, read a really trashy doesn’t-even-have-one-redeeming-social-value book, take a different route to work, count the dandelion flowers in your lawn (ooooh, that one kinda hurts!), chat with a dear friend, tell an old joke, write run-on sentences once in a while… encourage flights of fancy in yourself.
You will be in a far better position to tackle those tough issues once you have aired out the garbage that has been mustering closed up inside your skull for far too long. Doesn’t your house smell better after throwing open the windows to let the Spring breeze waft through after a long, closed in Winter?? Same principle.
Give yourself and the world a break. Who cares if people look at you funny because you are singing in your car?? Sing anyway! Who cares if people think you aren’t being serious enough because you roll your eyes when you hear crap? Roll away!
Who cares if people question your sanity because you listen to the stars sing?? Listen anyway.
“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” Mary Oliver, Wild Geese