January 27, 2022- The two boys were arguing over something that frequently seems to aggravate ten-year-old boys: A Pokemon card. My response was to make sure the card was returned to its proper owner-with a warning to him that such material is not exactly welcome at school. The reason is that the cards are too distracting-just as are any number of popular toys and fantasy items. The day, otherwise, went quite smoothly. Things seem to be settling down a bit, today, after a rather challenging month.
Much of the past few weeks has found people speaking of depression, many getting the latest subvariant of the latest variant of the ubiquitous coronavirus and a temporary downturn in the investment properties of several retirees. This all could easily spark a real time recounting of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row”.
I appreciate the great bard’s work, both fearsome warnings and rousing celebrations. I do not, however, take to heart the downturns and forecasts of doom that seem to permeate the landscape in this fledgling year. For one thing, there is a feminine, healing energy that is earnestly trying to break through to the surface. For another, the main source of the acrimony that is behind much of the ennui is a two-pronged culture of denial. The right prong denies events that are very much playing out, in real time. The left prong denies that there is any validity to some of the still relevant elements of cultural biology.
Yet, here we are: Mothers, by and large, still love their babies; fathers want to both love their mates and children-and work hard for the well-being of the family; people are, more often than not, willing to see those who present differently as humans, deserving of a shot at life; both society and history are moving in the direction of inclusivity, validating the best aspects of human beings and away from the dominance of elites. Of course, there will be setbacks; there always are-and the resilience that follows is always astonishing in its depth and breadth.
There are pockets of despair, yes, and some are running more recalcitrant than others. Altogether, though, desolation is not in the cards, long term.
There are plenty of pessimists and an equal number of optimists – but I do think the majority of folks are in the middle as realists.
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Count me as an optimistic realist. We can dream and work to bring that dream to reality. Yet, if I want to go to the beach, it does have to wait until the snow melts.