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.
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