I've been reading a lot of The Economist lately, trying to get more up to date on global news and issues. (Being able to spend so much time online is one thing to be thankful for in being underutilized at work.) How does you pray about global issues that are so complicated that there doesn't seem to be a solution? Like the rapid increase in food prices. A lot of people may start or continue to starve. And what about the turmoil in Africa and the political corruption that is doing little to help its suffering citizens? Or the countless civilian killings perpetrated by us Americans in Iraq that nobody will ever hear about? Where do you go from there? And how many people really care? Answer: Not enough. That's nearly just as awful. The world has been a dreary place for a long time... and we still have to live in it. I'm hoping to inform myself of not only today's going-ons in the world, but of the nasty living conditions in the past (which I have been fortunate to miss out on). And go somewhere from there. I don't want to be trapped in the superficiality provided by our American pop culture (and underground culture) money machine that keeps the youth uninformed, stupid, intellectually lazy, and afraid of reality. Been there, done that.
I admit that I'm a baby. I've been brought up under other people's guidance for so long and been told what to do for long (lovingly so) that I am relearning how to think for myself. I am now independent! The shock hasn't even completely worn in yet. Therefore, I must take responsibility for my own path and get rid of this complacency that muddles my outlook. Gandhi said that "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." How wonderful it is that I actually have the means to do that! I'm not sure what exactly that looks like yet, but it could be anything. It's encouraging to see this happening in other people's lives, even in strangers' lives, because you see that you are not alone. I don't wish to be ridiculous/ idealistic, but it's much worse to be pessimistic and apathetic. Like Jesus said (Jesus said this, right?), being hot or cold is much better than being lukewarm (blech!). This is something that I've recently begun to struggle with, as my natural inclination is mostly complacency, some perfectionism, and a lot of running away from risks and difficult situations. I've never been in a ton of trouble, but I've yet to accomplish a whole lot either. I hope that will change soon. And one day I hope to be wise.
I started a log of phrases yesterday at work, so that I can record meaningful thought as it comes to me. I'm glad that things are starting to process. Here are a few:
I cannot fully appreciate and enjoy art if I am not also creating it.
What is the purpose of living simply? (Mistake: I tried to live minimally for a while and ended up with a pretty empty life.)