Through astute techniques of observation, I’ve been able to determine that the sky is indeed falling down around us.
Actually, it was easy. Armed with a bag of Doritos and my trusty remote control, I navigated deftly through the channels on my television and discerned that the economy is a wounded bird, the situation in the Middle East is still as dicey as anywhere, Africa is a giant mass of starvation and war, athletes are ingesting or shooting steroids like I do Doritos and there appear to be some people on the soap operas who step out on their spouses from time to time.
Hey, I’m a journalist. I have a gift for flushing out this stuff.
Regardless, just watching the television was enough to leave me a crumbled piece of sculpted flesh art on the floor. I was about a heartbeat away from sucking my thumb in the fetal position when I stumbled across something that was, at first, quite foreign to me. People appeared to be smiling and having fun.
They were young kids, and they were on one of those shows on a music video station where a band was performing live and the youth were dancing to the music and, by all accounts, appeared to be having a good time. There were no government buy-outs hanging over their head or superstars breaking their hearts or wars in far-off lands.
There was music. And there was joy. And there was a lesson to be learned for all of us.
They were living in the moment. Sure, they were going to leave that place where the show was being filmed and have to face the harsh realities of life, but, at that particular time, they were feeling what they were feeling, and they were allowing themselves to enjoy themselves.
Is that the key? Did these young people discover that the only way to face these tough times is to compartmentalize? To face their demons and worries when appropriate, and to allow themselves the individual freedom to appreciate the good things around them when given the chance?
Or, were they just naive nimrods who didn’t appreciate the gravity of the situatation that surrounds them?
Actually, they are whatever you think they are. For me, there’s probably a little bit of both mixed in, but there is a valuable lesson in there for me to apply to my own life — though things can be challenging, there’s also an awful lot to appreciate in this world, and many potential smiles are being lost as we focus our attention on the negative.
Does the economy stink? You bet. Are there problems globally? Absolutely. Am I surrounded by friends and loved ones? I sure am.
And maybe that’s where more of my attention should be focused — on the positives that can be taken for granted when negatives predictably arrive. My father used to shake his head when hearing complaints and say, “Is that your biggest problem in life? Consider yourself lucky.”
Maybe he finally stumbled on a pearl there. Maybe he knew something the rest of us either didn’t know or, at least, didn’t appreciate.
We really should be thankful for all that is out there. Yes, the economy is lagging, and people are fearful for their future — both long-term and immediate. Yes, there is upheaval and massive losses of life around the globe. Yes, our sports heroes are tarnishing the games we love by falsely inflating their numbers, and bodies, through performance-enhancement drugs. And, yes, some of our soap opera stars are just plain-old scoundrels.
But there are also some good things out there — some things that truly bring joy to our hearts if we’d only allow them to do so, without us blocking them out with thoughts of negative entities.
I guess what I’m saying is we need to all maintain some balance in our lives. In Ocean View, for instance, the council members just banded together on a unified front to approve the town’s budget unanimously. That’s a positive thing, folks, and possibly a sign that the members are beginning to work together for the good of the town in general.
But the story continues to shift to the bad.
It’s our nature, and has been for some time. Maybe it’s time to break that chain, and focus on the good. Maybe it’s time to flip the television to the Cartoon Network when things get overwhelming, or go eat out from time to time, even if it means tightening up somewhere else. Life is good, particularly in this area.
Well, except in the soap operas. These scheming wome...
But I digress.