For anyone paying attention, national and world events aren’t tilting in America’s favor right now.
We are increasing spending at record rates, after a preceding administration that increased spending at record rates. The people who once fretted about bankrupting future generations with our borrowing have now decided that the grasshopper’s philosophy is superior to the ant’s.
We are normalizing North Korea, a regime which provided the details of nuclear weaponry to Pakistan and which regularly slaughters its citizenry. On both foreign policy and military levels, this is a greater blunder than dismissing ISIS as “the j.v. team”.
We are alienating allies by enacting punitive tariffs. In the wake of the disrupted relations we’re creating, Chinese leaders have been making world tours to our spurned allies and creating new bonds. We are in the process of actively aiding China in becoming the dominant world power, and the party which has traditionally been the guardian of individual liberty now has vocal members who claim that fealty to Russia is superior to cooperation with Democrats.
There’s more. Much more. Shenanigans at the Capitol. Racial animosities stoked on every possible side of the equation. The slow loss of purchasing power. Unnecessary sports controversies. Historical revisionism. The rise of fascists on both the internationalist and nationalist fronts. Church scandals. The consistent and intentional failure of anyone, anywhere, to simply tell the truth.
I get it. Every person here gets it, and whether they’re willing to admit it or not, many people on other news sites get it, too. Not just other news sites; people who are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, they get it. The sheer enormity of it all is daunting.
Also daunting? The simple fact that little is likely to change soon. If the Democrats win in November, and if they win in 2020, it means that the Demcorats will be in charge. They’re the ones who forced through the nightmarish health care reformation (that Trump and the Republicans have kept, with minor revisions). They’re the ones who started the numerical sleight-of-hand… which the Republicans have continued… which allows for unemployment rates in steady decline even while huge percentages of the population remain out of work. They spent eight years defending a sexual predator President long before the Republicans decided to try their hand at it.
Worry. It’s the only sane thing to do. The best hope that any of us have on this Earth is that enough people will jettison the teams and the schadenfreude to allow us to pull away from the cliff we’re driving toward. One very real fear is that it won’t happen before things are unrecoverable. Another very real fear is that if it does happen, it will only occur because the national situation has become catastrophic.
The other sane thing, though? Be happy.
As fearsome and terrible as events might seem, as desperate as we become, the best thing for our health and emotional well-being is to allow joy into our lives. It’s there for us. In the simple warmth of a hug from loved ones, or a shared moment of an outing, a game, some cooking, a gathering around watching a television program. Stepping outside and feeling sun on your skin. Looking through pictures of past moments of pleasure. The satisfaction of watching children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, the kids and grandkids of friends as they learn and play. A good book. Petting a dog. Scratching a cat (and not getting scratched back). Discovering new things. Silly humor.
Even if you’re so beaten down by world events that you’re finding it difficult to be happy, try. Nobody joins a movement where everyone seems apathetic and morose all the time, so giving in to fear and anxiety is counterproductive. Be the person who can convince others to join you in your stand against dishonesty and inconsistency. Add years to your life and increase your effectiveness as an activist. Smile and enjoy yourself.