Saturday, March 19, 2016

Things I do not want

Sometimes there are dry spells when it comes to creativity, energy, and motivation, and I’ve had some dry spells recently, when it seems that writing, photography and all of the other creative things that nourish the soul, are not worth pursuing. A spiritual malaise sets in, and sometimes spills over into the physical realm. The darkness and grayness of winter can sap a person for strength, ditto for soulless workplaces that do nothing to nourish the soul. They rather destroy it slowly.

What I don’t want at this point in my life: I don’t want to work anymore, at least not in the traditional sense. My soul derives nothing from the daily 9 to 5 grind that I used to love so much. It gets zero nourishment from a public sector workplace that is dominated by a bureaucracy that kills all motivation, by numerous leaders who are completely ineffective and who could care less about their employees, and by a level of inefficiency that in and of itself could drive a normal person to drink. Albert Einstein wrote that “Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work”. He wrote that line during the early part of the 20th century and was completely spot on! The saving grace of any workplace is of course your co-workers, many of whom feel the same way as I do, so there is some amount of shared commiseration while we all plod onward in the muck. But some of them are younger and haven’t experienced soul-sucking environments for years on end, so they are not as weary of the whole thing as I am. I still have several years to go before I can retire, and I honestly wonder at times how I’m going to survive those years without burning out.

I also do not want to work all day in an office the size of a tiny kitchen that I share with another person, with windows that open a crack, with fluorescent lighting that can never in a million years take the place of sunlight, for the prescribed number of hours. I find all sorts of excuses now to be out of my office, to be outdoors, or to leave early. Modern workplace buildings, for all their so-called environmentally-friendly architecture and technology, are completely divorced from nature, from wildness, from the outdoors. There is nothing like fresh air, a gentle breeze, sunshine on your skin, a walk along a river, or just being outdoors, to restore the soul. I want to be outdoors any chance I get. My body makes those decisions for me, and I am learning to just follow what it wants, because it wants healthy things for me.

I don’t want to listen to or to watch endless news stories about all of the horrible things going on in the world for which there are no solutions. All those stories do is create despair. Newspapers and television have become like the Dementors in the Harry Potter books—soul-sucking creatures. They bring up a problem again and again, propose few to no solutions, and suck the energy from those who try by bombarding them nonstop with stupid questions. If you are going to have an opinion about the problem, then for God’s sake have an opinion about the solution to that problem. I know the world is in deep trouble; tell me something else. Tell me about the people working to change things, trying to solve problems, trying to help, and tell me about all that in an intelligent, respectful, and decent way. Stop being belligerent, aggressive, nonstop pandering machines. Stop pandering to the lowest common denominator in listeners--to the basest instincts in people, every chance you get. Don’t encourage bigotry, hatred, and violence by talking about it ad nauseam. Stop making the rest of the world think that America is filled with pro-Trump and pro-Palin idiots. There are over 315 million people in the USA; the news media in Europe would have us think that all Americans support Trump; the American media are doing very little to dispel that notion. All of the Americans I know that are family and close friends, do not support Trump or the other GOP idiots. So there. My appeal to the media here and in the USA—please shut up unless you have something positive to say or some solution for how to get rid of Trump before November.

And while we’re at it—could we please end the reality TV culture and celebrity worship? I don’t want to see another Kardashian (any of them) on my TV screen or in any newspapers for as long as I live. I don’t watch these shows, never have and never will, but it seems as if whatever so-called 'celebrities' do is news-worthy. Here's a quick tip--NOT. Is this what money does to people’s brains? Can heads of the media no longer see what quality is and what crap is?

I no longer read the newspaper at breakfast. I read the comics page (since it is actually more intelligent than much of what passes for news--you need only to read Bloom County to know that) and then put the paper aside until later in the day. I refuse to discuss the grotesque goings-on in the world when I first get up. There are many things to be thankful for--the life we have been given, the chance to live another day, the chance to wake up to sunshine, the chance to love those in our lives (humans and pets), to chance to choose healthy, and the chance to appreciate the world we live in and to take care of it. That's how I want to start my day, and live my day. 





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