4.07.2006

Temporary Retirement

My inbox is so full of do-gooder messages that I just want to run and hide and turn the world over to someone else, which is pretty insane since the world isn’t mine to pass along. But, that aside, I no longer want to feel the responsibility of making improvement. I want permission to retire.

Everyday these countless emails plead with me to use my voice or my money or both to try to eradicate a lurking evil. The messages are often quite convincing, and I rush to action. But after roughly six years of this behavior, I’m getting very tired, not to mention feeling very hopeless. I’ve yet to topple an evil regime. I’ve yet to end corruption. I’ve yet to end genocide and world hunger. I may have kept an animal or two on the endangered species list for a bit longer, but that hardly feels like a victory. Hell, they’re still endangered.

I wonder if the condition of the world was just as horrid before the Internet or is it time to actually blame the messenger? Apparently as a society we don’t like to read about good news, but no one’s ever asked me to vote on that issue. I like good news, inspirational stories, an encounter that provides a little proof that being a member of the human species isn’t all bad news. Such stories shouldn’t be confined to websites with new age music and flower-lined margins. They shouldn’t be relegated to the back pages of newspapers or buried condescendingly on feature pages. Success stories are big news and deserve prominent display. Can we agree on that?

Yes, this country has been going through a pretty grim period. Personally, I’m counting on the pendulum swing. That’s when I’ll come out of retirement and get really active and do all I can to make a positive use of a positive trend. I’ll rally friends and acquaintances to strive to cement the ideals that so many of us fear have been completely abandoned in the current age. No, I’m not proposing a sit back and wait approach. I’m suggesting a little cocooning in order to build a strategic attack, one that hopefully has a chance for success.

So, for now, rather than put all of our effort into what’s proving to be a numbing fight, let’s start planning for when the momentum shifts. Let’s put less thought into what we’re against and more into what we’re for. Let’s lurk in the wings devising a ‘pro’ campaign that displays positives. It’s an assignment for everyone. Start your list and be on the ready. Really. Send in your ideas. I’ll happily compile them and see if we can form a consensus. When the time comes, if we demonstrate how to do it right, there may not be a return to wrong, or at least when the pendulum swings again, it might only be a slight sway.

1 comment:

Steve said...

When and where will the pendulum swing? I'm not sure it's a direction we can count on... But I do like the idea of celebrating our successes; I've always been an easy cry at uplifting movies.

I remain worried about how afraid we've become -- of each other, of risk, of failure.