I know a lot of sensitive souls who - like me - get very down about the state of the world and can’t seem to let it go. Some of you won’t get this but the rest of you know it can be a difficult and at times unhealthy state of mind.
I’ve rewritten this post about 8 times because it’s hard to talk about these things. How can I tell you - and myself - not to worry when there is so much pain & struggle in the world? And on the other hand, how can I bring people along on the journey knowing that every mention of worthy causes pushes some people further away? Someone recently said I was '“too preachy” because I sent an email asking for contributions to a homeless project.
Well I’ve come to a few conclusions lately and if like me you are prone to taking the weight of the world on your mental shoulders, you may find these useful.
1. Most Poignantly, there is no such thing as perfect balance. As long as new humans are born there will be a fresh supply of good and evil and all the activism in the world will not stop war or famine. I’m not saying don’t make an effort to be nice, I’m just saying your niceness won’t stop the bastards so don’t worry too much about them.
2. There is good in the world. There is community, there is creativity, there is kindness. I vow to spend more time visiting gigs & exhibitions in the new year as well as giving some support to other good causes. I hope to absorb as well as spread good will and positivity.
3. The world is a big place. I cannot save it. And nor can you. A tiny number of people will go on to be world leaders and make differences on a global scale but that is not my calling. The rest of us should be happy that we make a small, positive difference and should carry on doing it but don’t try to save everyone and everything around you - it’s futile and it’s exhausting.
4. You are of most use to the world if you are healthy - mentally, physically and financially. Don’t give all your time and money to everyone else. Work on yourself first. Pursue your fantastic career, start that new business, treat yourself to nice things because your happiness and prosperity are what give you the power to choose whether or not to do more to help the world around you.
5. Being an adult means you’ve earned the right to not watch the news. Channel 4 news - or ‘The Brexit Show’ as it’s known in my house - is on every day around the time I sit down for dinner. Its award-winning journalism is investigative and moving and I (like most of you, probably) have this innate sense that I should be watching it… but I don’t need to watch it. Ok, it would be crazy not to check in on the world at intervals but I don’t need to see it every day. Channel 4 is also guilty of sensationalising things too so a change of channel would be a simpler option but that’s not the point!! The point is no one is forcing you to watch, read or listen to the news and watching it will not help your depression or anxiety.
Was that preachy? Maybe, maybe not. Whatever, I hope some of you find it useful. And before I forget…have the most fantastic Christmas you can.