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by Michael Morse, contributing writer
The world is going mad, and has been for quite some time. Just in case you think the end is near, allow me to offer some perspective; I was a kid in the sixties, a teenager in the seventies, a young man in the eighties, an older young man in the nineties, a middle aged man in the 00’s, still in the middle in the 10’s and a guy in his sixties in the ’20’s.
During my time on earth, things have remained pretty much the same. It just seems we are closer to the edge these days. In reality, we have been teetering on it since somebody invented us.
Yeah we have nuts to deal with, and thugs a plenty, seems like everybody has a cause these days, some injustice or another to protest about, and let the world know how oppressed we feel. Truth is, we are no worse off now than we were fifty years ago.
It is understandable that the youth of today feels hopeless. They, more than any other time in history are aware of every little mistake that somebody makes, every act of terror, every abuse of authority and every tragic occurrence. We are all bombarded with images of grief and destruction – every day, day after day. It’s enough to drive a person mad.
Imagine for a moment World War II with Twitter. Or Viet Nam on Facebook. Or Columbine on Instagram. The general population would have been horrified if they knew what war looked like up close and personal, and had their inboxes inundated with every heartbreaking story that happened, as it happened. But just because we were unaware does not mean that these things didn’t happen far more frequently than they do today. The world is a violent place. Having our homes and minds violated by that violence has created an atmosphere of doom and oppression that simply does not exist in our everyday lives.
I spent a quarter century as a firefighter/EMT in Providence, RI, a small city filled mostly with beautiful people and more than a few violent ones. I responded to hundreds of shootings. I never saw a gun except on the belts of the police.
I’ve never met Presidents Trump or Biden or thought much about them personally, yet I am drowning in an ocean of images and opinion about them and their tribes; things that have little or no impact on my day to day life.
By allowing these images and opinions to become reality, I have, in effect, created a false reality that I need to override on a daily basis. Because I have lived longer than a lot of people, and remember nuclear bomb drills in grade school, daily overdoses in high school, stabbings in nightclubs, race riots, the KKK, assassinations, genocide, famine and true oppression, I am able to do so. I know that terrible things exist. I also know that I have a very good chance that terrible things will not happen to me, hence my cheery outlook for the future.
I worry about us. Without the perspective gained from living in the present, and seeing for myself that though there are dangers lurking everywhere, those dangers will not affect me, a doomsday attitude may very well overtake the optimism needed to thrive in a difficult world.
I wish I had the power to make social media go away, at least until we have the opportunity to grow as human beings, and understand that in a world full of people, focusing on the horrors that some unfortunates experience will only invite depression and anxiety into our lives. Being aware of heartache, danger and the potential for catastrophe is far different than inviting it into your thoughts every day, and letting it fester.
Life is for living, not watching. Live your life, taste it, feel it and enjoy it. Be aware, not afraid. Know that kindness overrules cruelty, and that though it takes time to see and understand it, life is ultimately fair. There is a reason for it, and some day that reason will be clear. Until then, just breathe it in and make your place in the world beautiful.
Read more article by Michael Morse, here: https://rinewstoday.com/michael-morse/
Michael Morse, email@example.com, a monthly contributor is a retired Captain with the Providence Fire Department.
Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.