“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
First Inaugural Address
For years I tried to warn people about the things that I saw unraveling. I was told that I was exaggerating, that what I saw wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it was. People told me that I was overreacting, that yes, what I was seeing was happening, but it didn’t warrant the response that I was having. A lot of people just simply ignored me, and treat me as if I was a run-of-the-mill crackpot. Some people were a lot more rude, cruel, and willfully ignorant.
Now everything seems terrible, everyone seems awful, and I take absolutely no joy in saying I fncking told you so.
As I minimalist, my mantra is to get rid of what you don’t need or what to make space for the things that you do. It was in that spirit that I nerfed my social media account, dropped most old blog posts behind the curtain, and am trying to reboot a lot of my online presence. I’m trying to shift what I’m putting out into the world, and what I surround myself with, to keep things productive.
Another mantra that I live by is that stress is the disconnect between the way things are and the way you want them to be. You can’t solve a problem until you acknowledge it exists, and then clarify specifically what the actual problem is. As depressing as it sounds, I am realizing that things in the world probably have to get worse before they get better. People will ignore the warning signs until the problem smacks them in the face and makes it real for them. A lot of folks don’t care about things until it affects them personally. Which is why no one listened when I saw a lot of this coming years ago.
So what can I do with that, other than get depressed? Well, what do you do if your house catches fire? You try to save what’s most important to you. At some point you can’t deny that the house is on fire. It’s impossible to save everything, but if you’ve cleared out the clutter and detritus you know what things you need, and what is valuable to you.
Going forward I’m going to try to focus on the things that I feel I need to save. I want to draw attention to, elevate, and sometimes even curate, the things that I feel are important. While it’s important to know about the negative stuff so that we can take action, to acknowledge the problems so we can fix them, I also recognize that I have limited power and influence. My reach is not as far as I’d like it to be, and, again, I don’t always feel that people listen. I can’t prevent the house fire. I can’t put out the house fire. But I try to can save as much as I can while it burns.