I’ve had a tough few weeks, on a few levels, but it’s forced me into introspection, and it’s become habitual for me to recognize this as a good thing. One of my resolutions for the new year was to maintain consistent positivity. Positive thinking. Positive expression.
The thinking part of it is pretty impossible, but I think it’s most important that I stay positive on the exterior. It’s kind of like the threefold law, or karma, or whatever. The energy you send out gets returned to you. Energy is only borrowed, after all.
Admittedly, I was just tired of all the complaints. My Facebook newsfeed. The real news. The media. Everything. It was so bad that, at one point last year, I recognized that a single person I knew was always posting positive updates. Even when everything went to hell. Her optimism was inspiring. And practical, too, because expressing an attitude like that benefits everyone.
I’ve always found it useful to think in relative terms. Even at a point in my life when I was technically poor, I was still an American with opportunities to overcome it. Even when I’ve been depressed because a dozen little things didn’t go my way, I focused on everything else I have.
One thing that every American has, and almost every American takes for granted, is freedom. It’s a common subject to preach, especially in military culture. Freedom isn’t free. We know that because we’ve served or loved people who’ve served to protect our freedom.
I’m not saying that everyone else isn’t appreciative. But in general, there’s a lot of political commentary about recent and current wars and the motives behind them. I’m not discussing how our government might or might not abuse our troops. What I appreciate is the presence of our troops. Because without a military presence, we wouldn’t be able to defend our freedom.
Slavery, for most of us, is this vague far-away, long-ago concept. We forget that the whole world is not on our page. It’s easy to forget, really, in a culture like ours. So obsessed with other stuff…
We can read history books and books on cultures where slavery is still common or accepted. But it still exists a lot of surprising places, in some form or another. But we’re disconnected from the reality of that. What we need, to really understand, is empathy. And that doesn’t come from lectures, textbooks, or research.
It can come from fiction, though.
This is just one example. Fiction explores all kinds of themes in human history, society, and culture. The writers of these books do the research, then create the world and the characters to be real. To exist for a purpose. And within some of these stories, we can experience these themes we’d otherwise know nothing about.
Fiction can provide perspective.
That’s why literature is taught in schools. It is, actually, educational. So these adults I meet who don’t “waste” their time with fiction because it’s just “entertainment,” have probably not read much fiction to begin with. Because otherwise, they’d know better, right?
Fiction is life. It’s based on truth. It’s based on people. People write it. People consume it. It changes people. It can even inspire revolution. It has so much power. I can’t stand how easily it is disregarded by some.
Okay, rant over. So much for positivity.
In other news, my friend, Shawna, has created a fundraising team for MS. I interview her in my recent blog post at GCP’s website. Please help spread the word, and thanks in advance.
Congratulations to the winners of the Labor Day Emotobook Giveaway!
I’ll be emailing the winners with their coupon codes by the end of the week. Reviews are appreciated but not expected.
Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!
The Giveaway Details:
- Labor Day Giveaway: Enter to Win 1 of 3 Emotobooks! (lexisjen.wordpress.com)