The World as It Is

We see the world as it is, and as we wish it to be. The pendulum swings between chaos and order, and for the most part we manage to keep from annihilating ourselves. But it remains deep in the back of our minds that things could go badly at any moment. Such is humanity that we can’t just enjoy the moment together, we carry on and get in existential bar fights with people we perceive as different from us. We live in a world where identity and the stories we tell ourselves dictate civility, or the lack thereof.

There’s talk of a self-fulfilling prophecy when the economy slows down a bit. There’s a shared belief that things are going well, or not going well, and it makes people behave a certain way. And yet, aside from a few notable places in the world, things are overall better than they could be. So why don’t we take the long view and appreciate our place in history? Because we live in the moment, and we tend to dwell on the aches and pains of living. Such is the way.

There ought to be more situational awareness in our lives. Most of the things we carry on about are related to the election cycle and the war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the pandemic and the supply chain issues it triggered. Maybe sprinkle in some unbalanced would-be autocrats in our worldview to over-season the recipe. Perspective and insight are beautiful things, often pushed aside in favor of the flavor of the day. But life isn’t a pop music chart, we must go deeper.

Ultimately, the more time we spend outside our own head, and outside the artificial electronic opinion machine spewing white noise at us, the more we might hear our own quiet heartbeat reminding us to take this moment for the miracle it is. If we’re all walking miracles, we ought to have cause for celebration. We just need to clean things up before the party. Does that sound frivolous? Aren’t most of these things we dwell on just so? We are the stories we tell ourselves, for that’s the way of the world. But shouldn’t we craft a better story?

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