A time of hope and dreams

Despair  is  everywhere

COVID. War in Gaza. Climate change. Crime. Austerity. Crumbs, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s easy to feel like everything’s going wrong.

Here’s the thing, though: what you focus on will seem bigger, and more important. I’m not for a moment suggesting all is well with the world – far from it – but it’s not just bad news, and it’s important (for all of us) to focus on good things.

Good news doesn’t sell newspapers, and we live in a world where the information we’re fed has been carefully curated to keep us off-balance, keep us feeling insecure, and keep us reliant on the millionaires and billionaires who have those information streams curated precisey for this purpose.

New  strategies

I’m going to suggest a few strategies for you to try out, and of course it’s entirely up to you whether or not you’ll try any of these out.

Begin by blocking official news feeds from your life as much as you reasonably can. Yes, stop reading papers (print or digital) and most certainly avoid TV shows like Good Morning Britain, or any talk-radio show, such as Jeremy Vine’s show on Radio 2.

Remember, these shows are carefully constructed to follow a simple, but devastatingly effective pattern: pitch two opposing sides against each other, stoke the flames, and watch the ratings rise. It’s at this point that the fans usually start weighing in. “But I like Jeremy Vine – he’s a good guy, and he’s simply trying to give each side an equal opportunity!” I hear them say. To those people, I simply say this: I have a bridge to sell you.
ANY show that pits two opposing sides against each other isn’t interested in what either side has to say. Instead, they’re simply trying to get enough people angry, so they keep on watching, or listening, and the show’s ratings go up. They’re manipulating us, and playing us for fools.

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It’s for exactly this reason news sites enable comments – they know that not only will you refresh the page after posting a comment, but you’ll keep doing so to see who responded to your comment. And every page refresh is selling more ad views. We have become the product.

You should find a lot of anger disappears from your life as soon as you shut down these news feeds into your life. Public Image Ltd sang “Anger is an energy”, but they were wrong: anger drains energy, and is an exceedingly toxic emotion to carry around all the time.

Social  media

Next, start looking at your social media. Some people on there will make you laugh, but some seem to have a permanent black cloud over their heads. You just know that if they ever ended up in paradise, they’d hate it, as paradise is supposed to be perfect, so there’d be nothing for them to moan about.

We all get upset and have a good old rant, from time to time. I’m not talking about that, but about people who never see anything positive in life. Those people are draining, and I suggest you unfollow, unfriend, or if politically difficult, mute them. Keep the people that make you laugh, and avoid those who always only ever want to argue or moan about everything.

Calmness

At this point, you should find calmness returning more than ever before into your life. Those cute kitten videos, or the one with the silly puppy are good for you. Ultimately, it’s the little things that matter most.

See also  Just One Day Less

Offline  is  good  for  you

Go offline whenever you can, and spend some time in nature. Green exercise – exercising in a large, car-free park or preferably a rural environment is proven to be more healthy for you than just the exercise alone would suggest. If you can, go camping. Take up drawing, or painting lessons, or learn to play a musical instrument.

Stop being a good little consumer. Stop being just a work unit. Live. That absolutely means you need to somehow decouple a sense of value from money. It doesn’t matter how much money you have – sure, it solves some short-term problems, but money is empty, and ultimately devoid of real value. Friendship, kindness, or love, on the other hand, carry enormous value.

Learn to pity those driving flashy cars, and recognise their enormous SUV is a vain attempt at trying to fill a hole in their lives that cannot be filled with money. Be proud of buying second-hand things, of repairing and repurposing things, and of making things last.

Life  is  not  a  competition

Realise that life is not about winning. This is not a race. The purpose of life – of your life – is to leave this world at least a tiny bit better than you found it.

Do the stupid things, and understand that art – be that painting, drawing, making music, etc – is not about the product, but the process. Alphaville said it best: the music’s played by the madmen. Go crazy! Make music, as even bad music makes the world a better place. Besides, if you’re embarrassed, just create that art for yourself. Just don’t expect perfection, but love the imperfections.

See also  Crash card

Everything you’ve been taught tells you to work hard, move up in life, be respectable, contain yourself, deny yourself. Sod that! All that achieved is create an exceedingly unequal world, where the value of humans are based on how much they earn.

Break  free

Let’s break free of that! Let’s build a new, happier life, one in which we’re satisfied with less (because climate change is real, and we’re all going to have to consume less.

Together, we can do this. We live in a beautiful world, filled with wonder. Let it in.

1 thought on “A time of hope and dreams”

  1. Agree completely. I have been unfollowing negative people, I don't watch programs that only seem to want to foster disagreement, without any attempt at intelligent discussion. So much less noice to distract from the positives in life.

    Reply

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