I've always been a glass half filled girl. Always assume, even when things look dire, that there is something good to come out of the experience. I'm sure some people would say my theme song is "Tomorrow" from Annie. That's not so--I really don't like that tune--but I'm pretty much a "tomorrow's another day" kind of person and assume that with tomorrow comes opportunity for things to improve.
My optimism is being tested these days. Conversations with just about everyone--from close friends to strangers--seems to have an underlying thread of doomsday emotion. The stock market is in the tank. Our public school system is broken. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. No one seems trustworthy. Even in my home town in Wisconsin-- which I insist on reminiscing about, placing it and all its populace in a time capsule in my mind so that all the neighbors love one another and don't lock their doors--is a place where, yes, people lock their doors and seem to be mad not only at their neighbors but also the politicians in Madison and everyone in between.
And they're not alone. It's the mood across the Nation. Our president was heckled last night at a fund raiser in California. Fund raisers are usually places where the showcased person is lauded extensively and everyone shows their love. Certainly, no one heckles. But someone did last night in LA.
These are tough times for a conversationalist when it's tough to initiate a conversation that doesn't seem headed for a pessimistic note.
Is this "Keep the Faith" time? There have been tough times before, right? But somehow the fact that we've gone global has become less reassuring and more problematic. I am sure terrible things have happened in tribal warfare in Africa for many decades. But I didn't know about them. And terrible things happened due to famine, earthquakes, tsunamis, disastrous accidents, plane crashes and the like. But most of the time they went unreported in this part of the world or when mentioned, seemed appropriately distanced and without impact on our lives here in the good ol' U.S.
No longer. In fact, the news that awful things happen everywhere should just confirm the requirement that we see people everywhere as our neighbors and treat them like ourselves...with the intention that together, we will improve the world.
I know that's the case. And I should be able to initiate conversations that take that direction. But at the moment, I just don't feel like it. I'm discouraged.
But, then, tomorrow's another day. And it'll be better.