You’ve read the news lately.
Dishonesty, deceit, double-standards, triple-standards, and great wariness from one person to another.
It can be discouraging to be human.
Weltschmerz pays its rent in our mortal hearts.
What can we do?
This weekend, I felt the world melting under white hot anger of people who want what they want right now regardless of the impacts to others, environment, or truth. Do you wonder why folks get twisted about their fiefdoms; a wee bit over-worried about others having rights, privileges, and stuff? Because they’re afraid and hold their “stuff” tightly – deigning any advancement on their territory.
It is easy to pout about the baking oven that is Kansas when it’s hotter than biscuits in July, summertime construction hazards multiply like rabbits, grass needs mowing, and the bloated possum in the street. It is harder to acknowledge the shade, air conditioning, free libraries, slower summer pace, a home that we call our own, and the needs of strangers we see carrying groceries, signs, and/or children in the heat.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” (via Brainyquote).
When the news is grim and the rent is due and the feels that we’re feeling include loneliness, we are faced with this responsibility – this freedom to choose – whether we will bury ourselves deeper into our own hand-dug trenches, ignore the issues of the day, blame someone else, or charge out of the gloom with “both barrels blazing.”
I’ve tried all of them and can’t say they work.
Neither does back-biting, violence, bitterness, denial, circling-the-wagons, sarcasm, manipulation, and weltzschmerzen helplessness.
If we – as a good-hearted people – wish to impact the world we’ve been given, we must include a bit of DerringDo into our life toolboxes.
Courage to ask for honest feedback and accept responsibility for what we hear
Bravery to launch into an uncertain deep
Vulnerability to ask for help; acknowledging that we still sometimes shake in our bunny slippers
Humility to listen-with-a-heart-geared-towards-action and to admit our weaknesses and failures
Wisdom to be mindful with whom we open ourselves
Hope to envision an outcome that we cannot yet see
Humor to keep us sane
The summer heat will come.
Wars will happen.
We’ll lose pieces and people of our hearts.
Weltschmerz will find us and we will need DerringDo to live bravely in this beautiful wearying world.
And good company.