For the first time in years, I’ve got nothing good to say this week. My mind has been so cluttered with information and opinions that I can’t think straight.

Noise. Noise. Noise. Noise…

From the plumbers who are experts in public health, to the journalists who are experts in economics, at this point I’m ready give myself up to the virus or to drink the bleach and inject the isopropyl just to get it over with.

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These two hours I get each day, on my bikes and in my rhythm, haven’t been enough to distance me from the chaos between my ears. What makes that funny is that it’s not my chaos, it’s everyone else’s. It’s like my mind appears to be the perfect receptacle for everyone to throw their ignirance, fear, and hatred into.

I wonder if people ever think about that — that when they throw hate, ignorance, and fear out there, do they consider that has to land somewhere…?

I’ve even considered giving up my optimism. I just don’t know if I should blame the news cycle, the people who create it, or the people who feed it.

Yes.

Regardless, people are to blame. Shame on me for saying that, but it’s not my dog nor my toaster that’s lying, exaggerating, and screaming all day about subjects they know so little about.
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I’ve spent much of my adult life believing the world is becoming a better place. Intellectuals such as George Ellis, Robert Wright, and Steven Pinker have demonstrated to me, supported with data, that the moral progress of man and the societies man has created, have been on an upward trajectory for 15,000 years.

For the last few weeks though, it feels like that upward trajectory isn’t just slowing down, but might possibly be reversing directions — like a rocket running out of fuel. The only question is, will the fall back to brutishness of our past be slow, or will the velocity increase as the decline continues…

The current health crisis, intertwined with our expanding social/political divisions, have created the first chink in the optimistic armor which has been protecting my mind for decades.

In the aftermath of the last few election cycles, I’ve viewed most social/political disagreements as small bounces in that otherwise upward trajectory of social cooperation — but then the yelling, finger-pointing, and distrust just keep getting worse.

Noise. Noise. Noise. Noise…

Like most everyone, I acknowledge the global health crisis as being real, and worthy of taking every necessary precaution to mitigate. The fact that I had to include the word “most” in the previous sentence though, makes me shudder.

I’m reminded of a woman I saw at the beach a few years back. She was juggling a bottle of sunscreen with one hand, as she was trying to apply it to her arms and shoulders. With the other hand, she was juggling a cigarette and a lighter. While one hand was working tirelessly to keep cancer at bay, the other hand was inviting it in. That woman, with the sunscreen in one hand and a cigarette in the other, was the embodiment of man’s duality.
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Though I’ve been considering giving up on my optimism, I’ve decided to keep it — for now, but I’m only going to hold onto it with one hand. Like the lady with the sunscreen in one hand and the cigarette in the other, my other hand will be holding on to my new found pessimism — my belief that everything that I think I’m doing right is actually meaningless.

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

This Week By The Numbers…

Bikes Ridden: 7
194 miles
9,600’ climbing
15.3 mph avg
11,000 calories
12 hours 37 minutes seat time

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’s this from Credence — was, it is, and will always be my favorite blues song. Enjoy…

 

10 thoughts on “One Hand On Optimism…

  1. It is all a delusion because it is based on duality, this optimism and pessimism. Your mind is like a monkey grabbing onto this branch and that branch. Keep your eye on the monkey while breathing and all is well, peaceful.

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  2. I find, even with all the noise out there, if I only look at what I can actually see in my environment, everything is fine 🙂 Okay, maybe my dog is not as well behaved as yours, and he can’t tell the funny jokes that Stroodle can, but then his strength is in slapstick physical comedy anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are doing many things right,which are actually meaningful. Keep the ear plugs in arms reach,and your finger tips on the AM / FM dial to change the channel at anytime. You are in control. Keep focus on The w.I.N. What Matters Now ! Faith,Family, Friends. And Hap Hap Happy Birthday to Your Southern Belle Mama Willie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian! Getting ready to have moms dinner on the porch here in a bit. I understand you can’t come by, but I’m extending your greetings just the same!

      Like

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