Sunday, April 26, 2015

Concern ......Caring

A bit of seriousity today. I listened to Elizabeth Warren and President Obama kind of dueling about the Asian Free Trade Agreement coming to a nation near you soon. I happen to like and trust both of these people, and it is difficult to hear them kind of fighting with each other. But in the end I came away thinking, this is something I should care about .....but I just don't.

This happens to me a lot.

For example, there is the whole violence in the Middle East thing. This is all horrible, for sure. No redeeming virtues at all. Nothing good here. People suffering mightily all over the place. But I have reached the point where I kind of believe this story in the Onion.....New Evidence Suggests Middle East Conflict Predates All Human Civilization. Really, just read the Bible for goodness sake.

And the whole violence in the Middle East thing makes me feel 110% powerless. There is literally nothing I can do about it except to think and talk about it. Certainly I have no bright ideas whatsoever about what might could help solve this problem. Nobody has, as best I can tell.

There are a host of other issues, large and small, which are badly in need of fixing. Citizens like me need to step up to the plate and do some swinging. But, I can't do it. At least not all of it, not even most of it.

I read this last night in a mystery story. "Sarah had long since denied herself the luxury of outrage over such things. One woman couldn't change the world. She could just make small parts of it better." (p 5 in the paperback version).

That's pretty much where I am at with most of the things in this world that need a little or a lot of fixing. I don't have enough energy for constant outrage (because there is so much wrong with so many things, I'm sure outrage would need to be constant ..... each wrong thing in turn.) I don't like dwelling in outrage. It ruins my life.

I decided to divide my thinking into two categories. The first is things that I have concern about. Concern, for me, is all about thinking and maybe talking, but not much else. There is little or no action component to being concerned about something. I have concern about most of the problem in the world today.

I am concerned about what will happen when the free trade agreement goes into effect (because I am quite sure Senator Warren will not prevail here. Too many powerful people want the treaty yesterday, and they will get it tomorrow. ) I certainly am concerned about all the suffering by all the people in the Middle East.

On the other hand, there are some things that I can choose to care about. If I decide to slip over into caring about something, then there will be an action part to it. I will decide to take some kind of action or another to address the problem.

Of course, I only do have so much energy and resources to spend on caring, so I have to become judicious. I have to weigh something against another and in the end select something over  the other.

That means I need a few criteria. One thing on that list has to be that I think there actually IS something I can do to have an effect on the issue. Another is that I get energy from caring. There has to be something in it that generates some kind of optimism and perhaps even joy in the process.

They believe in global climate change in the Ukraine.
So what do I care about now? Well, I have to say, the first issue is global climate change. I really do care a lot about that. And I think there really are things I can do about it. I feel a bit empowered about saving energy and trying to live as green as possible.

I think that in the end politicians will have to come round to the right side because the effects will become so obvious and so local. Already I see some politicians hedging their bets with their rhetoric. There is hope on the horizon here. I think that if I talk about this to my representatives, eventually they will, indeed, come around and do something themselves

I guess the other issue I've decided to care about right now is animal welfare. I can work on that, and it certainly gives me joy to do it.

I'm just one woman, and not very much of a leader about anything. I can only do what I can to try to make a little part of the world better. That I will do.

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