Pollyanna Crash…

All is not lost, or so they say. More recently though, I’ve been feeling some of my values — those beliefs and character traits that define me, slipping away. Most notably, my sense of humor and my relentless optimism.

Despite what inner turmoil I have lived with, and there’s been a heap, I’ve always met it head on with humor and optimism. Combined, the two make great weapons when confronting adversity. I think I’ve been successful at this, if not masterful.

With all that’s been taking place in the world, as our national mood has soured, as society has bubbled at the surface with a greater intensity, and as the behaviors of many who I’ve believed in have disappointed me more with each passing meme, insult, or comment thread, I’m noticing my sense of humor and my optimism are fading.

I find it harder to incorporate humor into conversations these days, and less receptive to humor when it’s offered to me. It’s as though I now see humor as an illicit drug — intriguing, but it feels cheap I feel I’d be better off without it. It’s not gone completely, it’s just that I feel guilty laughing or attempting to make others laugh while our nation is hurting.

I often wonder if we joked less and laughed less, and if we took what ails us more seriously while making a greater effort toward resolving it, maybe we could earn our way out of all of this. I sincerely wonder if there’s some truth in that.

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I remember how stunned I was to hear George W Bush speaking, just days after 9/11…

“Go to Disney World. Go shopping…”

It’s my own opinion that President Bush should’ve suggested we take a few weeks and refrain from Disney World or shopping, and to look inside ourselves with honest self-appraisal, look at each other with candor and attempt to communicate and unify.

Imagine after the attack on Pearl Harbor, if President Roosevelt had said go to Disney World and go shopping…

With regard to my optimism, for many years I’ve held close to a belief system sponsored by public intellectuals such as George Ellis, Robert Wright, Steven Pinker, Francis Fukuyama, and a handful of others, who’ve demonstrated in their research and their writings that the world, over time, has become and continues to be a more cooperative and better place.

It’s easy to be optimistic when my optimism is rooted in the hundreds of data citations contained within dozens of books written by these men. My optimism though, like my humor, its beginning to fade.

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Our national soul is crying, and we’re binge-watching mindless crap on Netflix with one screen, while we simultaneously argue with friends, cut off relationships over glib comments, and insult people we’ve never met on another screen.

I have begun to wonder who I would become if my optimism and humor disappeared from me completely. I try not to wonder about that, but a part of honest self-appraisal is just that, examining one’s self being honest about what is found.

I don’t think I’d like the me who lacks humor and optimism. I just be another grumpy old man, selfish and not contributing to the whole society. The God I believe in doesn’t want me living off the grid and shaking my fist at passersby. He wants me to engage.

I guess in all of this, the best thing I can do is to keep trying. However, seeing friend vs friend and politician vs politician behaving like children in the scope of ugly verbal exchanges, knocks the wind out of my Pollyanna disposition, every single time.

Excuse me now, while I place a slice of bologna and each of my shoes and get ready to begin my day.

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

Yesterday’s Ride…
Bike: Tang
26 miles
1,200’ climbing
15.7 mph avg
1,400 calories

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this from Dale Watson. Enjoy…

5 thoughts on “Pollyanna Crash…

  1. I had a feeling that you were flirting with the dark side. Remember Roy, just because the world has lost its way, we don’t have to follow. What Bush should have said is This tragedy is a call to go to your highest self!”

    Meet you there, Brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not necessarily flirting with the dark side, Doc. Just trying to do some honest assessment of where we’re at politically, socially, and where I fit into all of it. I don’t know, maybe I just think too much…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Keep Moving forward in Faith Brother,be what yours may be. Laughter is the best remedy.
    BTW I’ve shut down social media for a bit, as I manage/balance stuff. I will check email form time to time. So keep writing it’s one of the mediums for us to stay connected, Pull up on the joy stick to avoid the crash. Fly High my brother !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand. I find my own kindness wanting to fade. This world has become so ugly that I can feel myself being stained.. wanting … maybe to become ugly, too. It’s hard. Has it always been this difficult? You’ve been alive longer than me. It’s why I ask. There’s so much I can say, but I wouldn’t want anything to sound like unsolicited advice. I know it’s your journey and you’ll do what you think and feel is best when the time appears. I’m here if you ever need to let steam out. Thanks for sharing your entries. They’re timeless jewels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time. Near as I can figure, I’ve got maybe a decade or a decade and a half on you, but I honestly don’t recall.

      It does seem like there’s been a downward turn in the last several years. It was very you see, dare I say natural, for me to be more optimistic as recently as a few years ago. I’m hopeful that this is a downward tick in culture and in society and that it won’t last long. In truth though, only time will tell…

      Liked by 1 person

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