Opting Out of Outrage
On Monday night I was reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises with a soundtrack of Stan Getz’s Samba De Uma Nota So paired with a glass of red wine and I had almost forgotten that it was still Monday and the Patriots epically coughed up that game the day before and lieutenants of “Individual 1” are pushing coal at a UN climate change summit. I’m 52 years old and still figuring things out as I go along, but one thing I’m sure about is that no good comes from outrage addiction, and the world is full of things to be outraged about. Worse, there are more and more media choices available, all wanting you to click on their site, read their blog, watch their program, turn on their sports talk show, etc.
Nope. I’m doing my best to self-select out of that stuff. I still get sucked in, but damnit I’m doing all I can to avoid it. Eventually I finished that book, which was another check mark for me in a year when I’m trying to read more books that I’ve put off for too long. Hemingway qualifies.
Does that mean I don’t care about climate change or mass shootings or homeless families during the holidays or the Patriots losing to the Dolphins on the last play of the game? Not at all. I’m still invested in all those things, but I’m choosing not to let it all distract me to the point where I’m ineffective. It’s a bottomless pit of despair that I don’t want to swim in.