This will not be a long post. I've been feeling out of sorts lately. I've been feeling as if my blog writing were becoming pointless (as clever, witty and insightful as my blog entries normally are).
You see, I have a very clear view of the way the world should be; what needs to change, and what should not change. The problem, it has become clear to me, is that most other people see the world quite differently, and worse still, they don't particularly care what I think. This is very discouraging for a fellow with all the answers. All people have to do is ask me, after all.
While I have your attention (that is, if you are still here), there is more. Please don't think I am joking. I am, actually, not yet quite in the depths of despair, but as people used to say, already in the “doldrums”. (Look it up if you need to).
There are so many things happening in our world that sadden, even frighten me: Family breakdown, homelessness, beheadings, shootings, crucifixions, violence of all and every kind, injustice, greed, selfishness, hatred, air crashes, earthquakes. You can think of some more, I'm sure. If only people would listen to me. But they will not. How about you? Are you having any better luck?
Domestic politics is another rich and dependable source of despair for me. Opinions seem to have become so polarised. On all sides, debate has been replaced by labelling and sloganeering. We have become adept at talking at each other, but we rarely listen to each other. Mistrust, even hatred, divides well meaning people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Cooperation for the common good seems to have been forgotten in bids to smear and discredit opponents. I have learned to avoid political discussions, except when I forget myself, but I despair for my country and for my world.
So, in the depths of my doldrums, and in the interest of inner peace, it has become clear to me some things have got to change: Some things about the way I see the world.
Today I read a blog post from my wordpress friend, John Coleman. I reposted it on my blog below this post. It reached through my gloom and spoke a message I needed to hear. I am fairly confident John and I do not share identical beliefs and ways of seeing the world. That is of no importance at all. Some things we do share: A desire for honesty and authenticity, for compassion, and for a gentler world. In this case his blog can speak for itself. It certainly spoke to me.
I often write to purge myself of irritation at arrogance and stupidity I see everywhere – but it has invariably been someone else's arrogance or stupidity that I notice; never my own. I realised that this morning when I read John's blog.
I am determined to try to make more of an effort to let go of my need to correct other people's misconceptions and wrong ideas. Wish me luck please. I will try as hard as I can to listen. That in itself will not change the world or make it a better place. What I suspect it will do though is help to change one small part of the world that sorely needs it: Me.
I will not necessarily change my opinions or my values. Listening to other people and acknowledging them doesn't mean you have to abandon your own integrity or your beliefs. However it might just make more of a difference to the world than the alternative seems to be doing.
Although it will be hard, I will try to remember:
It's not all up to me. What I believe and how I see things is important, but I don't have a trading monopoly on truth.
As John says: “A song and a prayer aren't much, I know, but they're all I've got”.
I am feeling more positive already!