Sunday, May 29, 2022

What To Do When The World Feels Heavy

The world feels heavy right now. 

  • The horrors of Uvalde & Robb Elementary School and the loss of 21 precious people
  • 213 other mass shootings and 10 other mass murders in the US in 2022 alone (as of this writing)
  • + years of Covid & pandemic with cases still going the wrong way
  • Rising gas prices, inflation, the economy, & employment
  • The invasion and War in Ukraine 
  • The battle between autocracy and democracy
  • Continued investigations of the January 6th Insurrection
  • Partisanship at every turn, threatening rights of many
  • Social, racial, gender-based injustice, bias, hate, and control
  • Mental health and suicide rates at record highs
  • The global climate crisis
  • The perils of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news on social media

I could go on, but this certainly is getting depressing really quickly, which we can also add to the list as well.

It leaves many of us wondering "Why?" And "What can I do?" The first question often doesn't have an answer (or it has a complicated one). The latter question often leads initially to feelings of overwhelm or lack of power...but then with energy and anger it can lead us to take action, vote, and make a difference. 

But sometimes it takes a bit to get there.

It's no surprise that binge watching shows and finding escapes from reality inside our television are "a thing." I think that's why people have gravitated (especially during quarantine and beyond) to shows like "Schitt's Creek," "Ted Lasso," "Big Bang Theory,""This Is Us"... or maybe that's just me. But shows with heart, emotion, comedy, connection all tug at our heartstrings. They become treasured friends, and it's heartbreaking when "our" show comes to an end. We come to love the characters, and we learn a little bit about ourselves along the way.

Watching the final 2 episodes of the series "This Is Us" recently, I found myself becoming philosophical. (No spoilers, I promise.) Of course that's the intention of this show with its many timelines, seeing the characters at multiple stages of their lives. Our memories are the lifelines that hold our own timelines together. It makes us reflect a little on our own lives. It weaves in the threads of compassion and gratitude. "Ted Lasso" and his quirky optimism did the same. Valuable life lessons can be gleaned from his locker room pep talks and way of living. In fact, entire articles have been written about it.

In reflecting over the hard things listed above, I certainly feel the sadness and anger that have us living in a world facing these crises. Yet, here on Memorial Day weekend, I am struck by the gift of time this three day weekend--and the fact that time is not ever guaranteed. We see that in the list above. But, it also reminded me of hope. As I was scrolling back in GTG to find my February 9th post on hope, I also passed a few others that give me hope and are listed here:

For hope is verb, and with it, we can all use the gifts we are given to take action and make a difference. To make sure the losses listed above are not in vain. To not let the power of evil override all the good. And there is good out there, my friends. There is. I hope you find some of it for you this Memorial Day weekend... and I hope you feel the power that comes in hope!

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