Lighten Up

Work is hard enough. Raising kids, caring for the elderly, eating right, sleeping well and staying fit, all require thought and energy beyond what we spend on the job. This has always been so, but we’ve never felt so tired. We thought our parents were too serious, but we worry more than they did and we don’t sleep as well. Even on the best of days when everything goes according to plan and our spirits are high and our batteries fully charged, we can still end the day feeling like we’ve been rode hard and put to bed wet.

Ours is not the only generation to feel this way, but those that did were usually in the midst of war, disaster or upheaval. In spite of recent struggles with pandemics and politics, we still live in unprecedented affluence, in times that are extraordinarily peaceful in a historical context. Yet many of us feel and we act as if something were draining our spirits, destroying our faith and crushing our hopes into despair.

Let’s have a show of hands, how many are worried right now about the fate of the world and the state of the nation? How many are fearful of supply chain problems, rising prices, migrating hordes, melting glaciers, Marxist ideas, racial hatred and domestic terror, not to mention earthquakes, famine, war and rumors of war? Do you remember the precise moment in time when you decided to worry? Where did you get your information? Who told you to be afraid?

Was it one of the 6 companies that dictate 90% of the information published and broadcast to the masses, companies that depend on your clicks to keep their shareholders happy and on drama to keep you clicking? Was it one of the politicians who need for you to be angry so you’ll keep voting for the party rather than the person or the idea?

We’re not suggesting that these problems don’t exist or that they don’t require our attention. Like every generation before us, we face serious challenges, and also like every generation, some of our problems are unique to our times. We do state categorically, however, that none of these problems requires the sacrifice of our peace of mind. In fact, without peace of mind and the hope and faith which produce it, a solution to the problems is beyond our reach.

My brother says we spend too much time “doom-scrolling,” following one frightening or salacious headline after another down a rabbit hole of despair into an underworld of imminent apocalypse. We allow our spirits to become imprinted with negativity and we see the world through smoke colored glasses, where the brightest days are dim and the darkness takes on a Stygian gloom.

Let’s recover some of the energy we have invested in worry and redirect it to a more productive venture. Perhaps if we can deconstruct just one or two of the doom paradigms corporate media has used to herd our attention, we can let a little light into the room and begin to gain a healthier perspective on the world.

It’s fashionable now to worry about China. China is the latest adversary of the kind that a top heavy ship of state such as ours needs as ballast. When Australia dared to challenge China and demanded a thorough investigation into the origins of the Covid virus, China, emboldened by a successful run of bullying the world economy, threatened economic retaliation and the destruction of Australia’s export markets. The experts of corporate media predicted that the sky would fall down under, and the world waited for the Australian economy to collapse.

It did not. Instead, it adapted. There were plenty of other buyers for Australia’s coal and natural resources. China discovered that it had overplayed its hand and a full blown energy crisis forced it to back away from some of the bluster. Today the Australian economy is humming along as if China did not matter.

Let’s look at our supply chain problems, which are very real and likely to continue for some time, though the President has told us at least twice now that they’re too complex for us to understand. The beauty of a free market economy (as opposed to a Marxist command economy) is that a free market allows something called creative destruction, and that’s what’s happening now to our supply chain. Companies are changing the way they do business so they are not so dependent on long global supply chains that are susceptible to interruption at so many junctures. Some companies will fail, but those that are vigorous enough to adapt are finding raw materials and suppliers closer to home. New businesses will be created. It’s a movement toward a model which some economists, warning of the hazards of globalization, have advocated for some time. It’s just a shame that we had to be forced into making that move.

The shelves at Walmart might be devoid this Christmas, perhaps even the next, of the usual abundance of glitter encrusted Styrofoam from Asia, but some of us may get an opportunity to remember that we aren’t 4 year-olds who have just been denied an ice cream when that hoped-for gadget does not appear under the Christmas tree. Empty shelves will fill up over time. Business will adapt. We will adapt, and along the way, we have a chance to re-examine some of our values.

Let’s talk about values for a moment. Some of us are deeply concerned by what we perceive as an assault on our values by the proponents of Marxist ideas, Critical Race Theory and the intrusion of political correctness into so many of our institutions The corporate elite would have us believe that we are outnumbered, that what we call “woke” is established science, that our values are outdated, irrelevant, canceled. As the Lieutenant Governor elect of Virginia said recently, “We beg to differ.”

Truth reaches out to us through many channels, even an unpopular vice president who, in a recent theatrical presentation said, “Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.” Do not believe for a moment that our values are outdated and outnumbered, that our nation originated in evil intentions, or that some of us are flawed from birth, simply because we are told that by the people holding the microphones, running the board meetings or tweeting from the faculty lounges. They have stirred the great silent majority, and resistance is running like a riptide ahead of a storm. Ask Dave Chappelle. Ask governor elect, Youngkin. Ask democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who has held the fantasies of the far left in check with another outdated value called common sense.

Are you worried and afraid? We’ve asked you a hundred times over the years to turn off the computer, and if you can’t do a better job choosing what to read or what to watch, leave it off for a while. Lighten up and stop brooding. Go outside and enjoy this phenomenal weather and the breathtaking beauty still clinging to our beloved mountains. Above all, have a little faith.

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