I had an epiphany this morning on the way to work as I listened to the news. I'm not a news junkie by any stretch of the imagination, but somewhere along the road to middle-age I turned the corner from casual observer of the world (news-wise) to valuing being informed. It feels like a curse these days as the news is so dismal about so much of what is going on "out there." The desire to turn off the news halfway through a story is what birthed my epiphany.
We (those who think like me) wonder why so many people have their heads in the sand when it comes to making political choices. Women vote for ultra-conservatives who want to push back the progress made for women's freedom and opportunity to a place I wouldn't recognize. The marginalized vote for people who want to marginalize them further. You get the picture. It. Makes. No. Sense.
Except that it does when you stop to think that the only way not to allow the woes of the world and machinations of the powerful who want to control that world to interfere with our own individual sense of contentment and well-being is to shut it off and pretend its not there. When we do that we can imagine a world where people treat each other well and want the best for one another and believe the dross that drips from the lips of those who do the opposite. I get it. That's my latest epiphany. Earthshaking, isn't it?
Sadly this epiphany doesn't accomplish anything. It isn't going to change the time I get up in the morning or alter my route home from work. Perhaps more sadly it won't influence my diet or exercise habits. The only good news, I suppose, is that it is evidence that my mind continues to work and reflect and yield fruit, bitter as that fruit is. Sigh.
I've had some other epiphanies recently, too, though of course I can't recall them at this moment while I'm at the keyboard. A couple of them might actually be worthy of leading to something, but none of them in and of themselves are life-changing. Still, I'll take a foundational sort of building block epiphany. One by one they stack up sufficiently to change the view, and when that happens, well, there's just no telling what will come next.
This morning's epiphany wasn't exactly welcome. It certainly doesn't make me happy. The only thing I can say about it is that it broadened my understanding and increased the capacity of my compassion (okay, sort of on the latter). The news is still dismal, and I don't feel like I'm making much difference in helping shape a brighter world with better news to shout from the rooftops or whatever I'm building with my blocks.
For today, I guess I'll just have to settle for being a little wiser.
Here's to ya!