Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keep Your Head Up

That's what I keep reminding myself. We're living in a crazy world and nothing makes it clearer than sitting here each day with my little boy. "Keep calm and carry on?" I don't think so. I see this phrase everywhere. Perhaps it had its place at one point in history, during the second world war when women could only wait for their husband's to come home from dangerous fighting, not knowing even where they were. This phrase seems to now be most used in reference to our economic distress and political mayhem. Keep calm? Glenn Beck, South Dakota's proposed bill, Arizona's battle with immigration, the Tea Party's creation, Monsanto, and the complete unwillingness of the majority to even imagine great change in our country let alone the world. The worst of it is that we imagine ourselves incapable.

At times I feel powerful and head strongly into the wind but at others my head hangs low beneath the weight of popular apathy and fanatical hatred. During these moments of sadness I feel strange and I realize it's because I suddenly feel helpless and imagine myself incapable of helping our world be better. Keeping calm is a distraction, a way of shutting my eyes and merely pretending that the problem doesn't exist. I'm tempted by the ease of life that not caring (or prioritizing my beliefs) would afford me, but the lack of quality is all too apparent and over the years I've come to the painful conclusion that the cheapness of most products most likely means that someone along the line of production was underpaid, used, and/or mistreated. That seems like a much higher cost to me than adding a dollar or two in price to my organic, locally grown avocados or even twenty or thirty more to a toy I don't feel the need to watch the recall list over. We ask so much of our country, our government, and our businesses but we are simultaneously unwilling to pay the real price for what we ask. I hope that we will all soon see the value in paying a little more for what we want and indeed that those who pay us will find our work worth a bit more as well. I am confident that my choices are right for me and my family.

So, instead of allowing my head to hang I will hold my head up. With my head up I can see what is truly going on in the world, hear all sides of arguments, and think clearly breathing in the fresh air around me. Depression will not win me over and I will stand with my husband as we try our hardest to do what we believe is right. I hope that the fear and the panic that is driving our media and country's politics at the moment will subside and be overwhelmed by understanding the desire to help one another in the pursuit of happiness. That is what we are founded on. That is what I choose to base my own life on: happiness and love. I hope I share it as much as I feel it.

After a day dedicated to love, I hope that simple principle is not lost amidst the bitterness I saw displayed across Facebook and blogland. Thankfully, I also saw love spread to all, not just between romantic couples but to friends, family members, and strangers. Love is not tied only to those who sleep in the same bed. Not at all. My deepest love goes out to all of you as I deeply appreciate all you have taught me and the time you take to read my words and share your love with me, my family, my friends, and those who I don't even know.

Keep your head up and fight the good fight.

1 comment:

  1. i love you, kristine. i have felt the same way as you so, so many times.
    the problems and politics in england can be pretty depressing, but when i watch or hear news from back home in the u.s., england seems pretty tame in comparison. being an expat for the last 2 1/2 years has made me feel slightly detached from the u.s., and i think part of that is probably just exhaustion from the frustration of caring so much about things there, and feeling like we were almost always losing the fight.
    i can't help but care, though. i always have, and i always will. anything is better than inaction because of bitterness, or indifference. california was my home, and hopefully will be again one day. now, i just have another damn country to worry about. ;) not to mention, the rest of the world.