“Don’t read the news,” I tell myself to avoid disappointment, disgust, rejection, repulsiveness, and sadness. That never works. I never listen to my own commands, my own advice. Mainly because I love being informed, even though the result is almost always the same: bad news.
And it’s even worse, ten times intensified, when you get your news from the internet because it comes with an incredible amount of unsolicited commentary from trolls who are very proud of their opinion no matter how utterly stupid they sound.
I’m starting to wonder if this is really how we’re supposed to live; making each other sick with misery. Humans can’t seem to reach an agreement on how to coexist. And, common sense now seems subjective. OK, maybe common sense is still common. There are quite a lot of us fighting for reason and truth.
Maybe the problem is not that all is bad, but that we think it is. It’s ultimately what they (the ones in control) choose to show us as “news.” I don’t blame them. They want views and leads. They know that, after all, a lot of people aren’t interested in happy news, so they feed us their worst. And I guess it works.
It drives me insane, but I can’t stop reading headlines.
A thought comes to mind.
One day (last night) I had cereal for dinner. The next day (today), I had a banana and a cup of tea for breakfast; a plain lactose-full cheese sandwich with a cup of milk for lunch; and then, for dinner, a few chicken finger strips. That’s not gourmet, but it’s all right. It’s just that it is the worst series of meals I’ve had in a long time.
I thought, what am I doing disrupting my diet like that? Back-to-back. Then reality hit me: some people follow no regimen because they have nothing to eat at all.
Those of us who have the luxury to be selective with what we eat sometimes forget how lucky we are. You can’t punish yourself for having access to all sorts of foods, nutritious food, while some people starve. It’s not your fault. But I think it helps you to stay grounded and in touch with reality when you consider where you stand.
Maybe it’s the hopeless compassionate being in me, but I’m always thinking of the less fortunate when someone complains about what they ate or when someone leaves a crazy amount of leftovers on their plate — I hate seeing it go to waste.
As for me, I like staying on top of my game health-wise. I’ve skipped a few good meals due to nothing but laziness (and then there’s also the fact that I can’t cook). I’m one of those “freaks” who must eat right to feel well, physically and emotionally. That’s my only concern. But it takes only a simple thought to bring me down to Earth because, when I think of the world’s disadvantaged and how I’ll have access to a hot plate the minute I decide to go grocery shopping, I know I’m going to survive.
Can’t you see, girl?
I’m trying to get to you,
Doing crazy things
that only artists do.
A shadow of your posts
appears on my feed,
my keyboard gets all eager, girl,
A tweet I must set free.
I try to play it cool,
pretend your face don’t matter,
Date one here and there,
But low-key it’s you I’d rather.
My style, very different for
An erudite like you.
Don’t deny yourself the pleasure
Of calling me your beau.
When celebrating Earth, I’m always reminded of two things:
1) We’re all citizens of this planet, so let us stop calling other humans “illegal.” And
2) Without Earth, there’s no us — let’s do all we can to keep it clean and take better care of it.
Astronomer Carl Sagan’s beautiful famous words on Earth, Pale Blue Dot, are a good reminder of our place in the vast Universe.
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
Striking and humbling. Happy Earth Day!
How many haven’t heard a friend say those words before — in person, over the phone? While on speakerphone… I’ve learned the hard way that the best kept secret is that which never leaves your big mouth. It is extremely likely that your BFF is not my BFF, and if I trust you, it is because you’ve passed the years-long arduous trustworthiness test, and I fully expect you to abide by these unwritten rules of confidentiality.
Let this be a reminder to us all that the secrets we promise to hold aren’t up for show.
When you stare out the window and see all your dreams realized before your eyes…
It was all a dream.
Illustrating lyrics again. This one is by young artist Alessia Cara — I like her sound. Made with Paper 53.
Hey, who’s on IG?? I’m @SOATD there!
Here’s a reminder to anyone who can relate not to throw in the towel yet.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary…so you can know who you are, and what you can rise from.
(My guess is life wears a hat and smokes Cuban cigars.)