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I’ve traded in my 5 hours of evening programming a week, for 5 hours of progressive talk radio.

The result?

 Although I feel more in tune to the situation around me, I also feel more helpless and suffer from more anxiety.  I didn’t really realize this until I was walking from my make-shift study in the back room of my home to the kitchen to get a cup of tea.  On the television, Kelly and guest host were interviewing Michael Weatherly of NCIS, a weekly crime drama I used to watch faithfully.  It was one of 4 programs that I enjoyed snuggling on the couch for each week.  During that nightly 1-hour excursion, I’d experience a gamet of emotion and got to escape either the boredom of the day or the troubles, depending on the circumstances, but more importantly, it was safe.  When the regular season ended, I waited with baited breath on the new one, counting down the weeks.  T.V. makes it so easy to do that.  It is so convenient to find a program that grabs our interest.  It doesn’t even have to keep it because there are at least 50 other programs that can be switched to at any given time.  It isn’t any great wonder that a person could spend their entire lives in front of this magical box and not feel like they missed anything; maybe even at times feel better than they would if they hadn’t been sitting there.

When you leave that world to return to the one outside your window, the first thing you realize is that you feel so exposed and vulnerable.  With the voices hushed by the push of a button, the silence suddenly becomes truly deafening as your gaze leads you to that vast horizon.  There is so much standing between you and that one tiny point in the distance, including the potential to fail, as well as the potential to succeed; each possibility holds its own special brand of fear.  As if that wasn’t enough, you are also faced with the obstacles that present themselves on your way to that future point and let us make no mistake. There are obstacles everywhere; sometimes in places you thought contained hope for a future.  You soon realize that everything is a possibility, and nothing is inevitable.

That’s the reason for my anxiety. 

The reason for my helplessness lies in the state of the environment that we must face and cross in order to get to that desired point.  With the numbing effect of daily TV programming gone, and the interest in national and world events front and center, you can’t help but be swept up (in a multitude of direction) by all the things you hear, and if you are anything like me you get to a point where you say…

                …well, what can I do about it?  I’m only one person. 

And in the meantime you feel the fear and the hopelessness of the unemployed and the uninsured (both of which incidentally I am a member of) and the anger of many Humans.  My mouth wants to say Americans, but my mind and my heart know that it goes way beyond that.  This state so many of us are feeling is a world wide state of enormous proportion that too few are trying to hammer out in bits and pieces.  No wonder I feel helpless.  It’s the equivalent of building big beautiful sand castles only to see them washed away with the incoming tide.  And these too few people are like the voices of the life guards who blow their whistles of warning that are just barely audible above the crashing of the waves; much like the droning of the voices on the TV screen, the world and all its issues are calling us but we live unhampered in our minds in front of the beautiful world in these continually growing boxes that sit at the alter of our existence where there are countless beginnings and ends all neatly wrapped up. 

Before there was TV, there was community.  I feel rather blessed, in some way, to be able to say that I remember those times, and what I realized is that the issues that scare me today where the same issues that existed then as well.  The big difference was that you didn’t feel so alone when facing them.

I liken the movement of the 99% to this memory; this ideal of what and who we were.  It’s the members of the masses who have quieted the noise maker enough to hear the calls for help from the very communities we live in.  They are the brave souls who have looked out at the vast distances before them, who see the obstacles and who have, despite their fears, decided that the perils that exist in-between are well worth the effort it will take to get to that point in the distance; the point we all call collectively home and our future, which oddly enough should resemble so much like our past.

It doesn’t take an act of God to silence the beast that consumes a good portion of our time daily.  All it takes are a set of weak batteries or the press of a thumb.  One is out of our control, the other a choice.

Maybe the point you see in the distance will be one worth fighting the obstacles for…


Happy reading and may your thoughts be progressive!