I suspect all readers of this blog share (at least) this existential moment of worry: worry about our country and its politics, worry about the coronavirus, worry about the basketball and football drafts and merry-go-round of chairs and choices. Statements from mental health experts reveal that mental stress and illnesses are at an all-time high in our country (and the world) with 1-in-5 Americans experiencing depression and suicide rates soaring for veterans, farmers, and young people.
Sometimes it does all seem too much. The optimism of a new year hits a reality that seems out of control. What can I/we do to make the world better?
This morning I happened upon some great wisdom. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/2019s-best-tv-moment-it-was-stephen-colbert-answering-anderson-coopers-question-about-grief/2019/12/23/ff7cec4e-236b-11ea-a153-dce4b94e4249_story.html
Last year, a snippet from a televised conversation between Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert went viral. In it, Cooper asked Colbert to elaborate on a comment he’d made about the central tragedy of his early life, the death of his father and two brothers in a plane crash when Colbert was 10. How is it, Cooper asked, that Colbert had come to “love the thing which [he] most wished had not happened?”
He did, Colbert replied. “It’s a gift to exist, and with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that. I don’t want it to have happened. I want it not to have happened, but if you are grateful for your life . . . then you have to be grateful for all of it. You can’t pick and choose what you’re grateful for.”
Perspective. I’m starting my week with gratitude and a broader perspective. The political debacle gives me/us an opportunity to think deeply about our country, democracy, fact/truth, leadership. How propitious especially as a torrid election cycle ramps up.
Perspective. The coronavirus reminds us all that “we are one”. What happens anywhere in the world can have an impact (bad or good) on humanity. And humanity in general cares. We see that in the Australian fires and in the mobilization of health caregivers world wide.
Perspective. Even the basketball and football drafts remind us that with any ending, there is also a beginning and opportunity for good, as well as ‘new’.
Today I will focus on perspective. I’ll check my biases, my preferences, and my druthers. Today I will prepare, so that tomorrow I am better positioned to speak, to act, and to hope.
Thank you, Stephen Colbert, for the laughs…and the wisdom.