Oh, did I say my moral compass. No, sorry, I meant the nation’s. Just a small mix up there. I’ve been behaving, though not much credit left for liberal, educated women. I mean, that is, if you are judging from the chaotic leadership, and I use that world very loosely, in our capitol.
It’s been hard to watch. I kind of feel like we are falling off a cliff. Together, of course, and there is some comfort in numbers. It’s that sinking feeling in your heart, where that big hole keeps widening and every day, especially after you’ve read the news, the hole just feels bigger and cold air is rushing in and your warmth, literally your warm blood, is spilling out.
Does that description begin to cover the feeling of helplessness that has engulfed you? Not that describing it does much good, but you’ve got to identify the problem before you can fix it, don’t you? It’s a beginning for me. Just talking about it, does make me feel just the slightest, teensiest bit better.
But then I run into other people and it’s as if we can’t even look each other in the eye. Our collective guilt has left us feeling responsible for the dismal failure of our country. It is horrifying. We all wonder, how did we let this happen in America?
Theories abound. A lot of it was this movement, no, it was those guys, no it was the wealth disparity, no the everlasting racism that seems to be part of our DNA. It’s all those things and more, and it’s just not in my control. If I let myself
wallow and take the blame, I’d be spiraling down the drain right now, turning grey and ugly and just letting the detritus that is our national compass wash me away like dirt.
Or…I can focus on making certain that I maintain composure, optimism for my own survival, and attempt to make the lemonade. Make the lemonade, make the lemonade. I knew the recipe at some point, if I could only get my hands on it again, wouldn’t that be great?
Oh, where is the lemonade? Too cold outside, you say. Well, that’s just defeatist. I’m not much one for cold drinks on winter days, it’s true, but I’d have some lemonade right now, if it were only available, anywhere.
Is that the problem? We’ve run out of sugar? Cause I hear there are some countries south of our border who can easily supply this stuff. Oh, no, forget that thought. I forgot about the trade wars.
Trade wars. Actual wars. Cultural wars. Economic wars. These problems are really piling up. Are we really only a few weeks into the end of the world chapter? How many chapters are there? Should I pack my bags now, or do I have some time? Will I even need a bag? Where will I be going?
While awaiting the inevitable demise, I’ve been busy creating little pockets of joy to maintain my spirit. Since I can no longer depend on good television to buoy my spirits, we’re between seasons, the next ‘Girls’ and ‘House of Cards’ have not yet started, I am seeking pleasure elsewhere. My orchids are blooming, I’m reading a good book, I just learned how to make challah at the temple, etc., etc. You get the picture. Normal life diversions become the center of my attention and the only reason to tackle each new day.
Getting involved is of course a great salvo, though many of us are floundering on how to apply our energy. I don’t pretend to have the answers but I’ve created a quick cheat sheet that may provide some guidance – and a way back to a moral balance:
- Stay informed – the news is hard to take, but if you don’t know what’s going on, it’s going to hurt more when you do find out. Whiplash is an avoidable by-product of ignorance.
- Plug In – wherever you had been involved before, or wherever you had intended to get involved, the time is now. It doesn’t matter if you read books to the visually impaired, or go door-to-door getting donations for Planned Parenthood. Whatever small way you can apply yourself to someone else, something else, will contribute to the greater good.
- Donate – yes, I know, everyone and their brother is asking for money, because the fight will be costly. You don’t have to donate big – try skipping coffee out for a week and send the extra $25 to your favorite cause. And it doesn’t have to be a political cause. All areas of the philanthropic world will be facing economic challenges and worse, so give where your heart is.
- Stay connected – to friends and family. Let them know what you are involved with, perhaps motivating them to do the same.
- Stay the course – remember that the insanity we are experiencing does not define us. It takes true conviction and belief that the halcyon days of social order can return.
Hang in there.