, ,

Where have goodness and kindness disappeared to?

I used to look forward to reading the morning paper over breakfast, an easy, informative and recreational start to the day.  But things have changed.  The paper I used to enjoy has lost its noble restraint.  Now in tabloid form with too much colour this paper is filled with dramatic and revealing photographs ranging from local football angst to the horrors of war in other lands.

Words that carry foreboding abound:  threat, arms, step up, deal, break trust, fixation, jailed, extremists, fears, detainees, activist, deceptive, banned, militant, nude, fails, suspended, victim, forces, abuse, blasts, ice, famine, serious, split … and more.

When pleasantries do turn up further within these pages, very often they seem skewed to fit popular demand or fanned with cynicism rather than real joy.

As for relaxing, entertaining moments on television, they have largely vanished.  I admit to indulging in good quality viewing at the end of a busy day – best of all I love going to the movies – but to find anything comparable without having to go anywhere is hit and miss.  With a couple of exceptions, our local screen writers (who think they are hilarious), don’t engage me for a moment within their narrow scope of language, their crude and decadent shock tactics and their emphasis on war, killing, blood and violence.  Sophistication and real talent have left the room.  Even the online ‘funnies’ have thinned out and those that do appear have lost their witticism, reflecting instead disillusionment and the general state of the world.

I’ve pondered elsewhere on the state of uncertainty and malaise that seem to prevail in society today.  Are people expecting too much, wanting too much?  Has progress driven us all to the point where no one feels satisfied?   Who could possibly be so significant in the world that they are deserving of million dollar (or worse still, multi-million dollar) salaries – while worthy and less notable folk struggle and some lie destitute in the streets?  Why are so many so vocal about their rights?  Why do so many ignore people’s rights?  Why the anger, the swearing, the road rage?  Why the animosity, the fighting – on a small scale right through to the shocking violence that seems to endlessly grip today’s world?  Why are so many so depraved that they ruin their lives and the lives of others through criminal activities, drugs, anger, revenge and destruction?  Why do many people feel unsafe and live fearfully and with fear for the safety of their children?  What has brought into being this over indulgence in ‘the self’ and accompanying selfish actions?  Why are so many – especially the young – admitting to depression?  Or committing suicide?  Why do so many lack hope?   Where is respect for all people and a sense of common decency?  What has happened to the magic of lightheartedness and the simple joy of being alive, of having the opportunity to exist, to explore and to contribute positively to the world?   Do we not want to support good things unless they happen to be associated with someone famous – or in many cases, infamous?

Of course, thankfully, there remain many excellent, decent human beings who do honourable and valuable work and who have found contentment because of that.  These are the ones to listen to.  But what we see each morning and what we’re reminded of again in the evening is a population grown selfish.  There is no joy in that – or for a society wallowing in negativity and pretending to find happiness in a swathe of material diversions.

Leunig springIt’s springtime now and the dark clouds are fading.  Know that the world keeps turning and each season will come and go, no matter what.  Let’s enjoy the sunshine. Smile at the blossoms and notice new buds on the trees.  Wake in the mornings to hear the trilling of birds as they skim the blue skies.  Think positively, think of happy things.  Join with each other in fostering peaceful solutions to conflict and the desire for peace in our world.  We can do it!  Let’s not succumb to negativity, fear, anger and hopelessness.  Be the one who decides NOW to shift the negative into a calm and satisfactory outcome.  And if stuck with the morning paper, at least take a long look at Leunig for some pensive cheer.  Better still, take a moment to stop, breathe, relax and feel the living life.  Let’s be leaders, not followers and set about generating some joy!

Look into another’s eyes with kindness, and touch their soul
And so two souls might lift both hearts in hope, optimism and the eternal power of love