The Bummer Summer
Between the violence in the Middle East, the weird weather, several plane crashes and Ebola coming to the states, this could go down in our collective memories as The Bummer Summer.
People are jittery.
Everyone I know is walking around with at least a mild case of malaise.
As someone who has been labeled an “energy uplifter” by several teachers through the years, (more commonly known as a Pollyanna) I will do my best to remind you that many experts, including Steven Pinker, have the statistics to prove that the world is the least violent and dangerous now, than it has EVER been in recorded history. That seems hard to believe, I know.
“As one becomes aware of the historical decline of violence, the world begins to look different. The past seems less innocent, the present less sinister. One starts to appreciate the small gifts of coexistence that would have seemed utopian to our ancestors: the interracial family playing in the park, the comedian who lands a zinger on the commander in chief, the countries that quietly back away from a crisis instead of escalating to war.
For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment that we can savor—and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible.”
—Mr. Pinker is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Excerpt from his book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” published by Viking.
Let’s all get a grip, shall we? We’re safer than we’ve ever been.
Like the above graphic says, 50 thousand planes landed safely, 7 billion people lived today.
So why is it, you ask, that things in the world feel as if they have gotten worse and we all feel anxious and poopy about it?
I blame the news, whose aim it seems, is to scare the bejeezus out of us between the weather, pop gossip and traffic reports.
If you can step back and gather your wits, it’s almost comical. I’ve laugh snorted coffee out of my nose while watching the first half hour of GMA more in the last three months than I can ever remember. Maybe that’s just me.
This Ebola coverage is crazy. It plays like an SNL parody of those pandemic movies, with the doctors in hazmat suits catching the damn thing SOMEHOW, and then the bright idea of an airplane transporting the Americans back here, to the states to see if we can save them…..
(Cue cheesy music)
I’ve seen the movie, I know how this ends.
(The Universe with her wicked sense of humor, has just seen to it that for dramatic effect as I write this, we have just been issued a Flash Flood Warning – in Los Angeles. WTF? Can’t it just rain?)
I received this alert on the TV, radio and that other culprit, the inter web, simultaneously.
The internet also alerted me this morning to the fact that there was a pretty severe earthquake today in China. I have a CNN app that makes sure I know when anything happens – the minute it happens – anywhere In. The. World.
I can be reading or writing on my iPad; feeling Sunday unplugged, and WHAMO, there’s a chime and something awful comes up on the screen to get my attention.
Some things I just don’t want or need to know, but I don’t seem to have a choice anymore.
I don’t know how to disable these alerts without deleting the app, but I’m thinking that’s my next step if I want any piece of mind at all.
I’m advocating a collective dismantling of the fear machine AKA the media in our lives and the quickest way to do that for yourself is to stay as far away from the news as possible….and read real books if you REALLY want to be unplugged.
Plane travel is safe, people are alive and Ebola, well, Ebola is in Atlanta for now.
Let’s get our peace of mind and our summer back.
Now who do I talk to about this weather?
Love you more,