The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ~FDR
Last night, I happened to catch the last half of "Real Life with Bill Maher." The show's guests were various members of the media, with an additional guest, a reporter from the Rolling Stone. This reporter said something along the lines of this: "It's funny. When something is written about a success (speaking of the surge in Iraq) or recession, suddenly there's a flood of articles coming across the wires declaring that it is so within seconds. Does anyone actually verify the validity of those stories for themselves? No, I don't think so." Straight from the horse's mouth, the news is a rumor mill.
I keep a close eye on AP and Reuters feeds, and scan the headlines several times a day. I don't know for sure how often the feeds are updated; my guess is at least every hour. During one rotation, I caught a headline that said something about Bush earmarking X billions of dollars for returning soldiers' care. The article itself was four short paragraphs, then it was gone. I guess it's not a story worth picking up and running with.
The rest of today's headlines have been pretty much the same as they've been all along: Doom and gloom about Iraq, the Middle East, recession. Once in awhile I'll catch a flash of a headline about a giant prehistoric mouse skeleton found, that the man who 'cured' cancer has died, or that cloned meat and milk is declared safe to consume. Not exactly positive, but a break in the usual.
When I step out the door of my own Little World and venture out into the Big World, the car radio blares out the same news headlines, the songs seem blah, I pass by gas stations with an eye on my fuel gauge and a catch in my breath at the even higher price per gallon, and come out of the grocery store with not much of anything besides a much smaller checking account balance. My pinched pennies are screaming in agony, even though I pass by my mailbox without checking it to ease the pain, knowing that there is an electric or water bill in there just waiting to pinch those pennies even more.
This is tough to write because I have to think about it. "I think, therefore I am" (Descartes). I realize that I am afraid, and that I push the thoughts of that fear deep down and out of sight. I read somewhere that depression results from repressed fear. It seems to fit. So, the result is an overall, general feeling of depression. (I think this explains the last week's worth of angry posts!) Yes, it's fearful to be afraid.
"Misery loves company," does it not? Though the path to the repression of fear may be different, I suspect many people are feeling the same depression. It's like a snowball rolling downhill, because, in addition to all the external 'noise' of the media, we add to each other's depression as we interact. All of life seems depressing for all of us. What can we do?
Open the Door!
Yes! Fling it open wide! It's just that simple. Kick that depression, that fear, that doom-and-gloom negativity right out the door! It truly is just that simple. It's so simple, in fact, that we all tend to forget that we have that ability. I think, therefore I am!
Stay aware and on the lookout. You'll feel the cold of doom and gloom and negativity coming your way. When you feel it, shine a light. Lend a positive thought to a conversation, smile, choose to ignore the news because you're too busy enjoying yourself. The good thing is that the doom and gloom and negativity will pass over you! Think about it: Light can totally obliterate darkness, but the opposite is not possible.
Don't give in. Don't allow yourself to fall back into the negativity. You are armed and ready now. You know about it, you know how to protect yourself. Now, you just have to remember it. Think about it, imagine it, and hang onto it hard.
There's more about the power of thought in the essay by Burt Wilson that inspired me to write this today. Think it through, because this is only half of it. Now it's time to put it to work.
Life is Knocking
Negativity is contagious. We know that, we've lived it, it feels like the whole world is living it. So, it's time to prove that positivity is contagious too. Pay it forward!
The other day in Wal-Mart, I proved it to myself. I walked around that always-busy store with a smile on my face. I laughingly remarked several times that I didn't see a turn signal. I started conversations about product choices or with general comments. I smiled and met everyone's eye that I passed. The result? Sometimes a double-take, that's for sure. My smiles were returned though, openly and meeting my eye. Laughter came easy too, along with relaxing shoulders and a sigh. Momentary, fleeting, but not always. I'd pass by again and catch a glimmer of a smile still on a face or two. Those smiles would be seen by others and returned too! It is contagious!
This is what life is meant to be. It's all in our power, in our power of thought. Life is fun! Try it for yourself. Pay it forward. I dare you! Open the door and let life in.
Thanks for reading!