Perspectives: Just because the world is broken doesn’t mean we’re broken

OPINION — So much of what passes for public discourse these days appears to be little more than frustrated feelings looking for an outlet.

That’s not particularly helpful if our goal is to live as productive, happy people who are shaping the world in positive ways.

The proof in the pudding can be seen in how many people tend to frame expressions of their worldview in terms of who or what they’re against rather than what they stand for. This is most often a product of human nature combined with the tendency of the masses to follow the path of least resistance.

Think about it.

Why else would those who seek to gain power over others so incessantly remind us of the inherent evil or danger embodied in the “others” and why we need them in authority instead? It’s a time-proven tactic to keep us in fear of the latest enemy at the gates.

The bigger question is why so many of us choose to go along with their machinations and rarely, if ever, question the veracity of the narrative we’re being fed.

There are plenty of people who recognize the disconnect between political promises and actions. They may even understand, at some level, that official control over them is tightening and their freedoms are receding at a corresponding rate.

What they lack is the emotional strength to face this reality head on. Instead, they prefer to grasp at straws to maintain the illusion and simply hope it will somehow go away.

They have forgotten how to trust their own minds and to follow what their hearts tell them is true. Also they are dissuaded by the prospect of being made to suffer for their willingness to stand for what they believe.

Multiple generations have been conditioned by those who hold the levers of power to ostracize and punish anyone who steps out of line. Conventional wisdom teaches us it is our duty to do so.

How can we break out of a nearly universal form of Stockholm syndrome? As with most authentic solutions, it starts at the individual level rather than as a mass movement.

So many people have been locked into a negative and pessimistic mindset for so much of their lives that they honestly cannot imagine reality looking any different. The stories that dominate the news cycle tend to highlight the worst and most divisive words and actions of humanity.

No wonder we tend to view ourselves as broken and unworthy of anything better.

Breaking free of our mental shackles takes genuine effort and a willingness to be misunderstood, defamed and abused. How many people do you know who would willingly risk that possibility?

Learning to see the world in a more positive light requires learning to see ourselves in a light most of us have long since forgotten.

Paul Rosenberg recommends holding a baby every now and then to be reminded of what it’s like to be pure, undamaged and unburdened by the artificial boundaries placed around us throughout our lives.

When we make real contact with babies, we are confronted with raw humanity, newly introduced into the world, headed into unlimited possibilities.

In other words, babies provide a kind of spiritual reset; they take us out of the dark mental ruts most of us live in and confront us with a nearly blank human slate… beings that are suited to far better things than the daily swill most people trudge through.

Rosenberg’s words ring true to me thanks to my fairly recent battlefield promotion to the rank of grandpa.

There is something remarkable and restorative that takes place whenever I’m in the company of my grandson James. His innocence and trusting love for everyone around him is a powerful reminder that each of us started out this way.

There is no bitterness, no darkness and no sense of hopelessness in him. The sheer potential of his entire life is still before him. Holding him reminds me there was a time when it was easier to recognize and feed the good that surrounds us.

So many people seem to live their lives for the purpose of convincing us that it’s impossible to live in the “real world” without rejecting what is good, humble or innocent. Why do we consider those who are deeply jaded to be the sages of our time?

Yes, there are individuals who may rightly be classified by their actions as indecent people. They represent a tiny portion of the overall population whose actions demonstrate that they are, by and large, good and decent individuals.

Why is it considered naive to acknowledge this reality?

The world may be broken in more ways than we can count but that doesn’t mean we must conform to that state in order to stand for something.

Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events viewed through what he calls the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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13 Comments

  • theone December 18, 2017 at 7:32 am

    “Dark mental ruts most of us live in” Really?
    Move along folks nothing to see here.

  • bikeandfish December 18, 2017 at 11:45 am

    The irony is thick in this piece: “so incessantly remind us of the inherent evil or danger embodied in the “others” and why we need them in authority instead? It’s a time-proven tactic to keep us in fear of the latest enemy at the gates.”. There is no better constructive criticism of Hyde’s poor essays then his own words.

    • John December 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      You are an example of your own irony ! It’s a time-proven tactic to keep us in fear of the latest enemy at the gates”! You are always in fear of the imagined latest enemy at the gates !!

      • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm

        “You are an example of your own irony”. What does that even mean beyond some childish retort? I mean, by logic, if I am ironic then of course I am an example of it. Its like saying “blue is an example of blue”.

        • John December 19, 2017 at 4:23 pm

          No shinola Sherlock ! You are a very predictable liberal..hahahahahahaha! And yes you contradict yourself every time you comment.. oh mighty brain of all mis-information….Get over yourself already, Its easy enough to see you have an innate need to be accepted as intelligent. All you do is come of as the misguided keeper of the only opinion that matters. Don’t you ever read anything factual? You try way too hard ! Do you notice nobody ever supports your long winded opinions because everyone knows that you are just full of yourself. ( I would use another word but that’s not allowed in this forum, means the same thing though )

          • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm

            Same old insults and claims, same lack of any support.

            I can only imagine how fun your Tinder profile must be.

          • John December 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

            brokenandfeeble It’s funny but those are factual claims and for you those things you call insults are actually the praise I give out to loud mouthed progressive morons. You have achieved the highest honors, right up there with “crying” Chuckie Schumer and Nancy “depends” Pelosi…. Give it time, you will surpass them in ignorance in no time. Just keep drinking that liberal fool-aid and you will be there in no time ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm

            Once again you conflate petty insults with fact. Opinion does not equal fact; especially assumptions about other people.

        • John December 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm

          Your progressive liberal posts reveal your true nature even though you can’t bring yourself around to admitting that you are a liberal. Life must be hard for you since you must really hate yourself.. One does not need support when disputing the non-facts and false narratives you support. Their inherent one-sidedness speaks for itself. You need to get out more often. Maybe look at more then 3 liberal sources for your news and someday you might be able to do something more than just parrot the liberal talking points of the day. And those are not insults.. they are the compliments you deserve for being in such denial about bikeandfish we all see

  • utahdiablo December 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Ahhhh….Christmas is in the air, can’t you just feel it?

  • Sapphire December 19, 2017 at 11:27 am

    It took thousands of years for even European countries to become civilized and stop fighting with each other… in my lifetime actually. Russia, the Middle East, Asia, South and Central America, and Africa aren’t there yet. Gangs and hate groups in America aren’t there yet. The media and bullying social media aren’t there yet. Even people from different churches/religions fight. It seems to be a very slow process, sometimes involving war, for people to finally give up their grudges, bigotry, self-righteousness, and desire for domination. I try to be tolerant of others and nice to those I associate with, but I am not naive enough to think that alone will ever solve the world’s problems. However, being pleasant and friendly can certainly lift a downtrodden soul for a moment. And that has value.

  • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Happy Holidays, John.

    You have no clue what sources I read nor my political leanings. As an unaffiliated voter in Utah I find both the RNC and DNC ideological houses that fail to be flexible to the reality that surrounds them.

    It’s funny that you think I hate myself. That’s a big leap. I think you constantly conflate my social values with a political worldview. Its an ignorant approach. People confuse treating everyone with dignity with liberal democratic views when its fundamentally a libertarian view that respects natural law (as our founders respected). You confuse standing up against Christian authoritarian politics with liberal democratic beliefs when its actually founded in protecting individual liberty. You and many others oversimplify a complex political spectrum. Conservatives and liberals think those are the only options when in fact the spectrum is broad and multi-faceted.

    I assume you have some decency and civility somewhere in you and find it unfortunate that you choose to hatefully troll these websites instead. A place that could be about dialog, even passionate disagreement, instead becomes another gutter because of actions like yours. But that’s the difference between us. I can criticize your hideous behavior while not assuming the worst of who you are. We don’t know anything about each other beyond the ideas we share here; everything else is just wild speculation and in your case constant insults.

    Hopefully St George News eventually upgrades from this limited blog platform and develops reasonable tools to moderate trolling comments like yours. Until then, I’ll keep challenging you to engage with civility instead of hateful antagonism.

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