The big picture
Another year has closed and like every new year, we look back on how it was and how it could have been. We smile and giggle at those things that tickled us, and then our lips close and squeeze together away from the beam and we hang on to some things, because looking forward is always uncertain.
Why do dark moments have so much power? Those shrouding moments that slowly loom over us like incoming storm clouds, military-marching on in from the horizon. They block out the sun before we realise just how much it shines. We curse them for taking our sun from us when we couldn't even appreciate it in the first place. The thing is, the sun is still there. We get in a plane and realise it when we are at ten thousand metres in the sky - can we not imagine the same thing from the ground? Our minds are wonderful things capable of so much. The clouds will pass and the storm will fade. Look for the silver lining, the world needs rain to thrive. The light is always there if we are truly looking for it in all that darkness.
As every new year kicks in, it is just too easy to think of those bad moments, they have a powerful energy, even when many of them aren't really that bad in the grand scheme of things. But still we nurture them. They have an almost comforting influence, the way we protect ourselves with hate so easy. And this last year we have seen it growing. Brexit. Immigration. Protect our shores and our jobs from those people, let's hate them. We have the media feeding us it.
When one day a native American Cherokee Indian told his grandson that there was a battle of two wolves going on inside him; one evil - full of anger resentment, arrogance and greed, and one good - full of joy, love, generosity and compassion, the grandson asked which wolf would win, the wise, old Cherokee replied simply: "The one you feed".
Yet the media that keeps us supplied in this darkness, can also be the light; exactly what social media especially should be for, this is how it was born, like the innocence of a child, yet we choose to use it to spread hate, to express our disgust because the world isn't exactly how we want it, because we are not capable of being the bigger person. We are bitter and we are angry. That is how Trump, and just recently Bolsonaro in Brazil, were elected. We are led further in to the dark to hate what is around us, when the truth is that we cannot see what is around us, because of the dark we were able to walk away from in the first place, if we put our minds to it that is.
Worse, we just simply moan at the slightest things yet we are not able to be happy for other people and celebrate the good times quite enough. We always say "Here's to a better new year", it's the first thing we toast to - why is that? What was so bad each previous year that pushes us to say that? How about saying "Here's to us to keep moving and keep progressing"? Look at it from the sun-behind-the-dark-clouds point of view, not from the oh-so-easy-to-see-dark-clouds-themselves way.
And so a new road stretches out before us. We have to drive down it. Or run, or walk or even crawl. We have a duty to ourselves to move forward. Just like we have to live with the evolution of the media. Yet we can choose to read and research what we want. If we keep moving forward, we will discover, we are born adventurers, all of us, we can find the right way, without hate. But to do it we have to dig deep; on the surface we find only ripples, we have to go much deeper, below the distracting shimmer of it, down in the deep where the current is stronger, where we find the true force. There we can find the big picture, and that is what we should all be looking for on the road ahead this year.
Take your first steps. Happy New Year to you all.
Where we're standing right now, in the ruins in the dark, what we build could be anything.
- Chuck Palahniuk; Choke