Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. Today I talk about how current situations and current events seem surreal. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned…!
I have found that the juxtaposition of current events and celebrations to be rather surreal. I know it shouldn’t be; things can happen at the same time. But, having been 2 years since COVID started and seeing restrictions lifting, while at the same time, parts of the world are war torn and fighting to survive seems to make the whole thing surreal. On the one hand, we have people getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and on the other, we have Ukrainian people trying to make it through one more day. We have COVID restrictions lifting, but COVID cases aren’t dropping dramatically. We need to live with COVID, they say, yet there are people still dying of it. We have the Paralympics and blow by blow coverage of death in the Ukraine. Sometimes there seems a bewildering array of numbers and information streamed live in front of us. Sometimes things seem overwhelming. I’m not sure how many have found the need to restrict their social media access to remain sane. Though I’ve always had restrictions on my social media. I can’t be on it all day and still get stuff done. I find that I seek out more art and culture and less news media.
As Munia Khan states, “In today’s world hunger for sanity seems to be more intense than our hunger for food.” Some days I can see her point. Where everyone thinks they have the freedom to do anything that comes to mind with no thought of responsibilities, where it seems there is little thought of consequences to actions, one finds themselves sometimes just holding their head above water. I suspect that it is a universal problem considering that prices are rising, inflation is up. I remember when gas was going to hit $1/liter and people were losing their minds. During the past while, it went up over $2/liter. It makes the days of $1/liter seem like good times. This affects all areas of life because with the increase in costs, there is increase in transportation of goods to market and to farmers and other producers. So, there seems a steady barrage of increases domestically and aggressions internationally.
According to Otto Von Bismarck, “Man cannot control the current of events. He can only float with them and steer.” The problem is that sometimes we don’t know how to steer or what we’re steering. So, while we float and steer, we need to be cognizant of what it is we are floating and steering. Sometimes it is hard to separate fact from fiction. Are we steering a boat that has no rudder? There is the issue of misinformation and disinformation. In a mass of information out there, we find ourselves needing more than ever to have trustworthy information. In this day of mass information and mass misinformation, we need to put a rudder to our boat. This is the importance of the expert and the objective media. People seem to want to toss it out. To have bipartisan journalism. This is a catastrophic idea. In a time where there is a massive amount of information, we need to have objective questions asked, wise questions asked. It doesn’t matter who is getting the answers or who is responsible, if we cannot get wise questions asked and finger pointing minimized, we have just more partial information to wade through.
Even in earlier times, people had to deal with current events, however, the lack of ease of passing information along may have had its benefits. As Marcus Aurelius is credited with saying, “Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” It seems that historically, this is true. Events happen, they have their effects and then they disappear into the dust of time. People often get pulled along this way and that way in the current. It seems that the popular opinion drags many in the current. Strangely if the current switches, so do the attitudes. This is the strangest thing about current events. For example, once the ‘convoy’ was disbanded, it was about that time that the Ukraine was invaded by Russia. Previous there was much argument about the ‘convoy’ of people protesting mandates in Ottawa, Canada. Once the invasion started, the ‘convoy’ virtually disappeared and a secondary one started in the USA barely made a dent in the news. So, it seems that we pick our current event importance based on what is current to now and what was part of the past. If one thing deemed of greater importance comes, if we see the horrors of true decimation of humans and violent removal of freedom, we tend to lose interest in the less violent. So, the current is ever moving fast and furiously in time. We can find similar incidents in the past to the current event, yet it seems that there is no change in how it is dealt with.
In the words of Robert F. Kennedy, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” It is the belief that there is good in the world and that we can, even a small group of dedicated people, make a difference in the world. It is with that thought that we should work together, as well as separately to make the world a better place. To help our fellow humans and to think of each other as we deal with the currents of various issues in the world. The more the world acts as though it is one group against another, the more divisiveness will exist. We cannot hate each other and move forward toward a healthy and happier world. We cannot teach intolerance and believe that we will improve the world this way. It is the need for people to escape from untenable situations that makes it necessary to have room for immigrants. It is the desire to take over portions of the world thinking that there is only one way to live life that makes for the need to take over others. Until we all agree that there is more than one way of life, there is more than one way to govern, until we learn to tolerate those different from us, until we accept that there are thousands of ways to be healthy and happy human beings and until we learn to cooperate and learn discretion in dealing with people of different races, gender identities and different lifestyles, we will be made to face the same battles over and over.
I have some sympathetic agreement with Max Cannon, “Yeah, I don’t deal with current events or pop culture, and I avoid politics like the plague.” I find the less I look into politics and the less I get to know about it, the happier I am. It takes special type of people to get involved with political discourse. Current events tend to be made political. It is a strange thing I have noticed. Things that seem to be controversial in current events become political. I’ve often wondered if this is an attempt to keep people from asking questions or wondering about the state of things. Then there is often some kind of threat that goes with things.
In all this, I have not even reached St. Patrick’s Day, though it will be over by the time that I get around to posting the blog post and podcast and will no longer be a current event. I hope you’ve had a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day if you celebrate it. A wish from someone who is at least partly Irish. May you find wisdom in your words and actions. May we find peace in the world. May we have a better tomorrow and work toward making it that way today.
Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures! The blog post can be found on Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/Surrealisms-e1ftt9e
Change is all in the Mind? – E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA Author A & J PEI Treasures
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