Monday, July 18, 2016

Motivation Monday

I think I was going to write something when Paris was attacked. Or maybe it was Belgium. I considered it for San Bernardino and Orlando, but it’s difficult staying on top of the latest national tragedies. Wait too long and another mass murder has happened. Not to mention the singular murders in between that highlight the institutionalized racism, civil unrest, and general dissatisfaction in the country. How do I even respond, when it doesn’t end? How do I ignore one incident over another? Is this week’s focus in Dallas or Nice? (And since I started this, another mass shooting of police took place in Baton Rouge and Turkey experienced a failed military coup.)

So I’m not going to address any of them. We know all the responses already; we have to hear them over and over. The statements and prayers and commentary are background noise, like gunfire. So to combat what it turning out to be a pretty petty, rubbish year, I’m using Mondays as the day to post more uplifting things. There is a lot of beauty in the world, in art and music and architecture and poetry, and I’d rather fill my thoughts with those things. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism, but at least it’s one that values the good of humanity.

And I’m taking a cue from C. S. Lewis, who wrote in 1948:
“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

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