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View Full Version : When is it alright to turn away?



bamamick
03-08-2008, 03:31 AM
Has it always been like this or is it just the information overload that is getting to me? Yesterday a kid walked into his high school in Mobile, fired a shot into the ceiling to get everyone's attention, and then shot himself in the head. A young girl was found murdered at Auburn University this week. And the student body president of UNC in Chapel Hill was murdered a couple of days ago. All this talk of people killing animals. Violence has become commonplace. This bloody war is never going to end, and these bloody politicians don't have a clue.

Is there ever a point where it is morally the right thing to do to just give up and walk away? Is one's own sanity not as important as participating in this circus? I taught my children that they needed to try to make the world a better place, and I have striven for a long, long time to be a decent man. To be someone who cared. Who tried. I just don't know how much longer I can keep on like this. I am slowly beginning to believe that I was right 30 years ago when I would run away and sit on a beach for days at a time.

Oh, and if you ever find yourself in the frame of mind I seem to be in right now, do yourself a BIG favor and do NOT read Cormac McCarthy's book called 'the Road'. As a matter of fact, just stay away from his stuff entirely.

Mickey Lake

paladin
03-08-2008, 04:48 AM
When I felt that way, I went to the boat, tossed off the lines, and didn't come back for a month or two....
After Irina passed away it was like that most of the time. I would take the boat and sail over to Poplar Island (no human inhabitants) and anchor, and sit, listen to music, doodle on the sketch pad and try to let my mind drift away.

I'm back...it's wee early in the morning.....
Mickey, I don't make it a secret with my health problems. I've had too, too many years of unauthorized field modifications to my body. I hurt all the time and refuse to take the dope that they pass out because I want my mind clear. I work at a lot of things to take my mind off the situation, kinda slow, sometimes takes a long time to get things done. My world was wrapped up in the kids and sailing....and Irina....She's gone,and kids have their own lives and for that I am thankful because I wouldn't want them around all day trying to tell me what to do. I can't handle a sailboat anymore because of my back and legs. I busy myself with working "on the next boat, a power boat for offshore or close ashore cruising"...I listen to my music, every 2-3 hours I open the forum (and a couple of others) make some remarks and go on for a while. I don't listen to the news very much at all, it is too depressing....all the news is depressing, it sells. The weather is like watching bugs bunny, the only way they get it right is by accident. I think Grandad had it right, nothing has changed in 100 years except the speed of communications....it's all the same around the world, you just know about it sooner.
Today people travel to other countries with ease.....I started well over 40 years ago and never stopped, and things are the same. People were killing each other then as they are now. The world is getting overpopulated and proportion of fruits and nuts are the same, more people, more nuts. Trying to control the firearms doesn't help. No guns they will use pointy things or poison, or bombs. This is a supposedly free country so we take the bad with the good and hope that the bad doesn't get too close to home.
Buy some paint and sandpaper, upgrade your music, and pray for sailing weather.

LeeG
03-08-2008, 05:41 AM
Mickey, gotta wash the filter out. With the events of 100's millions of people able to come across the media at any moment you're going to get input that has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE. Living near 10,000's of people you will come across an occasional asshole or person having a bad day and the turd they drop in your path has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, except that you and they cross paths.

It's probably more effective to find that beach in your head everyday than to build up to some minor crisis requiring action/vacation.

Next time you're at the grocery store and see a little kid in the cart go ahead and idealize them and the mom, smile and be grateful and tell the mom she's got a cute kid.

Seek out something good instead of steeling yourself against the negative.

glenallen
03-08-2008, 06:07 AM
Cormac McCarthy is expert at creating "bad days" for his characters and ultimately for his readers.
I have not heard of THE ROAD, is it a new book?
Cheer up! Best wishes!

brad9798
03-08-2008, 08:51 AM
Exactly, Mickey ... and we are more upset about a Hawk fer crissake!

We like to preach about priorities here, but it is sorely evident that collectively, we really have none!

:(

BrianW
03-08-2008, 01:48 PM
I'm pretty sure Abel was walking away when Cain knocked him on the back of the head. It's been downhill ever since. ;)

elf
03-08-2008, 01:57 PM
Yeah. After that Buddhist monk immolated himself in Viet Nam I didn't read a newspaper or have any contact with the news nearly until Tricky Dick was impeached. Just turned my back on the whole thing.

I'd guess probably 75% of the possible adults in the country have walked away for a long period or the entire period between Ronnie and nearly now.

rbgarr
03-08-2008, 02:05 PM
I was reading about a series of teen suicides in Wales or Ireland (?) recently. Kids were hanging themselves, leaving notes to friends who'd 'gone before' the same way.

So frightening.

Lew Barrett
03-08-2008, 02:12 PM
I got a PM some months ago from a wise forumite when I was in the dumps. He suggested that the problems of this world are bigger than any individual can ever solve, or maybe get their arms around. It doesn't change anything, but you know, you're not alone. One is always more open to the world's troubles when one is in pain oneself. I think pain is a lot about growth; something is changing or being recognized. It can be quite liberating, but it's not fun. The cycles we go through, recognition and denial, are maddening.

One of the curses (or is it aspects?) of being human is that we can alternate between great concern and gay abandon, or something like that. But in the end, you have to get your arms around yourself and realize that the world is what it is, you are what you are and all you can reasonably do is the best job for yourself and those around you that you can manage. It's not healthy to dwell too much on things nor is it healthy to avoid them. As we all damn well know, balance is the key. You're not the first guy to feel depressed and anxious, this probably isn't the first time, and it may not be the last. As we get older, it can be harder to deal with these recurring sentiments. It is for me. But as I see that things are less and less perfect in my world and that I have not had the power to change things as I would like, so am I more able to accept them as they are and thank God for the many good things I do have. That's it, and that's what keeps me going. From dust we are born, and to dust we return. In between is all we are given. It's really serious, but you have to be able to laugh about it sometimes.
You're good with us here Mickey. You need to be there for me when I need you.

BrianW
03-08-2008, 02:22 PM
I'd guess probably 75% of the possible adults in the country have walked away for a long period or the entire period between Ronnie and nearly now.

Oh good Lord, what a load of crap.

elf
03-08-2008, 02:52 PM
I would be kind of interesting to try to find out. I wonder where one might find some polls which cover how aware people are of national and international issues.

Paul Girouard
03-08-2008, 04:00 PM
I would be kind of interesting to try to find out. I wonder where one might find some polls which cover how aware people are of national and international issues.


Lettermen and /or Leno do a question and answer gig once in awhile. I don't know if they "look" for stupid people or IF it's just random chance but they find some , generally younger college age / in college people, that are dumber than a box of rocks.

Maybe they have to interview a lot of folks to find the "right" moron's to show :confused:, they never tell that side of the tale.:rolleyes:

Henning 4148
03-08-2008, 04:12 PM
Get rid of the TV. Works fine for me. I just scan the news on the internet in the evening, so I know roughly what is happening in the world, but I do not want all the violence delivered into my living room in color and with original soundtrack in my spare time.

You need your power to keep the world around you a better place for the people who are close to you.

elf
03-08-2008, 04:31 PM
Paul, it's not dumbness we're talking about it. It's either deliberate ignoring, not to be confused with ignorance, or massive indifference to social awareness, but not necessarily to the media at all.

My hunch is that there is a very large portion of the population which spends a lot of time listening to, or actually looking at, melodramas (otherwise known as soaps), sports and celebrity media. And that a very large portion of that population goes out for a drink or ****, puts the kids to bed, does dinner, plays a game of pool at the corner bar or simply mutes the TV during the news segments. There may be nothing wrong with the mental faculties of this population but they are clearly not engaged in becoming knowledgable about the wider world. Sure, they know that the US is carrying on a military adventure somewhere where oil comes from, or maybe they don't even know that oil comes from where the adventure is going on but they're vastly more involved with the adventures of the likes of Beyonce, Michael Jackson and Brittainy Spears.

Do you really not know any people of that sort? At work? Parents of your childrens' friends?

S/V Laura Ellen
03-08-2008, 05:04 PM
Lettermen and /or Leno do a question and answer gig once in awhile. I don't know if they "look" for stupid people or IF it's just random chance but they find some , generally younger college age / in college people, that are dumber than a box of rocks.

Maybe they have to interview a lot of folks to find the "right" moron's to show :confused:, they never tell that side of the tale.:rolleyes:

Rick Mercer does the same:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhTZ_tgMUdo

High C
03-08-2008, 07:23 PM
Mickey, it's the information age. There have always been terrible things happening. Our era is probably one of the gentlest ever, but our awareness of others' agony and strife is so high, like no time before. We've not yet adapted to it emotionally.

Take heart, things aren't any worse than usual. The world is not on a sled to the end times. It's a matter of opportunistic knowledge, and perception. Life is grand, and we live in a grand place where food is plentiful, the sun shines and the winds blow gently. (usually :eek::D )

Turn off the TV and tune out this depressing forum, way too much pessimism here. Perspective, perspective, perspective.....

Keith Wilson
03-08-2008, 07:33 PM
Mickey, it's the information age. There have always been terrible things happening. Our era is probably one of the gentlest ever, but our awareness of others' agony and strife is so high, like no time before. We've not yet adapted to it emotionally.Exactly!! Well said! Nasty stuff sells papers or gets people to watch the TV, so whenever anything horrible happens anywhere in the world, we can hear about it in twenty minutes, and watch pictures with bodies and blood. Turn it off (and for God's sake throw away the Cormac McCarthy!), go for a walk, do something with people you care about, tend the garden, build something . . . Almost all of the world is far better than what they show on the news.

Remember, people who build things have always had to deal with those who knock things down - but the builders are winning.

Paul Girouard
03-08-2008, 07:41 PM
Remember, people who build things have always had to deal with those who knock things down - but the builders are winning.




Thats good to know , I had a hunch for years that was true. Hell of a lot easier to question / criticize someones work than it is to do your own.

Although there is a difference in constructive critiquing / advising than criticizing , a fine line , one which I do not do well at.

bamamick
03-08-2008, 08:10 PM
Good advice, well meant. Thank you.

Mickey Lake

LeeG
03-08-2008, 08:22 PM
you could try listening to musicals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJdol1SXKvI&feature=related

glenallen
03-08-2008, 09:10 PM
Exactly!! Well said! Nasty stuff sells papers or gets people to watch the TV, so whenever anything horrible happens anywhere in the world, we can hear about it twenty minutes, and watch pictures with bodies and blood. Turn it off (and for God's sake throw away the Cormac McCarthy!), go for a walk, do something with people you care about, tend the garden, build something . . . Almost all of the world is far better than what they show on the news.

Remember, people who build things have always had to deal with those who knock things down - but the builders are winning.


Very good thoughts, Keith!
Mickey should feel better already having read your post.
For unknown thousands of years people had only to deal with what happened in their isolated camp or range.
I wonder how many millions of humans have lived an entire lifetime without experience or knowledge of murder or suicide or child abuse or mayhem. I suspect many millions.
We're simply not wired for chaos and terror. We're "designed"(hehe) for raising babies and digging roots.
Little wonder a few of us go bat**** crazy each day nowadays.
The miracle is that all of us don't.

Milo Christensen
03-08-2008, 09:58 PM
. . . Is there ever a point where it is morally the right thing to do to just give up and walk away? Is one's own sanity not as important as participating in this circus? . . .

No. There is never a point when it is morally right for good men to do nothing when it comes to evil in the world.

Edmund Burke said it best several hundred years ago:


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Several here on the forum have been more than upset by a variety of recent events. And rightly so.

You must reduce your input of the news of evil doings in the world and substantially increase your output of service to make a difference. There's so very, very many ways for one man to make a positive difference. Pick one.

glenallen
03-08-2008, 10:20 PM
No. There is never a point when it is morally right for good men to do nothing when it comes to evil in the world.

Edmund Burke said it best several hundred years ago:



Several here on the forum have been more than upset by a variety of recent events. And rightly so.

You must reduce your input of the news of evil doings in the world and substantially increase your output of service to make a difference. There's so very, very many ways for one man to make a positive difference. Pick one.


You're a good man, Milo!
Help other people at every opportunity. Not only do you help somebody, but you also set an example for onlookers of how to be a human being. If you don't do it nobody will. Bless you heart!

Lew Barrett
03-09-2008, 04:09 AM
Well now you guys have me thinking my post was too dour. I like the "keep on the bright side" sentiments that have been popping out. Our lives are rich here. Worrying about the future or the direction of mankind has very little pay in it. Most of the stuff I've worried about in my life has never happened, and the bad stuff that did happen wasn't worth ruining the good times fretting about anyway. What a fine bunch you can find on this forum. Milo, you are a good guy. And so say and are we all. Much to learn here.

Tealsmith
03-09-2008, 06:30 AM
This thread is the Bilge at it's finest. Thanks to all that have posted so far.

The news media have no idea about how much of the problem they are. It's a wonder things aren't worse with copycats and all. People aren't meant to dwell on death, horror, and destruction 24/7.