When I was small, my parents used to worry I was too idealistic, a prime target for people to take advantage of. It made them protective, and less trusting of any reaches for independence. Even today, when the years have mellowed my idealism, I don’t see idealism as something that skews perspective, that is somehow unintelligent. I reject that it is realism’s poorer sister. I see it as a superpower. It is hope. It is strength.
I’ve struggled to find optimism recently, when the world has seemed to be unravelling. I wonder sometimes what the mental health implications are of twenty-four hour news, of constantly being tethered to our mobiles. It’s easy to give in to the lure of constant information, the desire to be well-informed, when what we are subjecting ourselves to is the emotional wringing of media and outrage. It’s tiring, and I don’t know that it does any good.
The need to hide away from the world, to shut my eyes and block out interactions has been greater recently. Sometimes we need to be islands of one, to recharge and preserve our sanity. It makes me wonder whether too much thought is folly. We need both immersion and distance to be useful.
Photo by Hartwig HKD
Getting caught up in cycles of despair is debilitating. Fear is by its very nature disproportionate. It may be borne of circumstance, but it soon morphs beyond logical dimensions. What is more, fear tames. It stops us from reaching out and taking risks. It distracts us from our intentions.
Maybe what we need is to focus on the little areas of change we can bring about within our own spheres. Chaos has always existed, but we can still create little bubbles of our own, reconnect to small joys and remember our authentic selves.
Take my hand. I’ve got you. Let’s soar.