I don’t watch television at all. Haven’t watched a television show in years. Well, that’s not true I have watched a few episodes of Mad Men and Glee on my computer, but I have not watched anything when it actually aired in forever. Weird, I know, but hands down the very best gift I’ve ever given to myself.
I don’t watch the news, or news programs. I read the news that interests me or that I deem important. Because of this I am limited, but it also provides a unique perspective. I’m a bit removed, not ignorant, but removed.
My son asked me the other day if I thought things were worse today than they were when I was young.
My token response, I’ve been asked this question before, is, “No. The world may have different challenges, but things are not worse. It’s the media and the 24 hour news cycle that just makes everything seem worse.”
I believe that answer. We are bombarded with information all day, every day to the point that every horror and graphic story is thrown in our faces and the world does seem worse. I don’t think the world is worse off.
He of course then asks me, “Well, is it better?”
I’ve been alive for 39 years. I’d like to think the world is better. We are moving forward as a human race, right? We evolve and learn, grow. I hope so, but I have to admit I don’t know.
My perspective is skewed by the world I live in. I take things for granted based on that world. There are things going on around me that I’m either not privy to because of where I happen to fall in the universe, or I make choices to avoid.
Women are still abused, children are still hungry, injustice still happens, people still dislike and/or kill each other based on race, religion, and a slew of other ridiculous and ignorant reasons. None of these things are part of my life either by luck or choice, so I really have no first hand knowledge, but I know they’re out there. Are these things getting better or worse?
I look around and we have an African American president, there are more women seated on The Supreme Court than ever before. Progress, things look better, right?
But people are losing jobs and houses, investments and businesses they’ve worked their entire lives to grow. Unemployment is at an all time high, but the stock market is doing well…so I hear.
Nineteen people were shot during a “Congress on Your Corner” event last week. Six of those people died. Died because they chose to attend an event to hear what their representative had to say. Some guy that didn’t agree with the politics of the group or who was just a complete nutcase opened fire on the group. That’s crazy. Things must be getting worse?
But Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down by a nutcase too because of his beliefs and the change he was trying to make in the world. So were a lot of people before my time. We’ve always had crazy people and apparently always will.
So, what do I say to my son?
Deep breath…I hope, I truly hope they are getting better. There are days, even weeks, it doesn’t seem that way, but I have to believe they are…for his sake.
That’s all from the laundry room. Dream.