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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Be Golden

Golden reflection at World's End State Park photo by author Laura J. Bear, October 2015
Since we are having such an unusually warm December so far, I decided that a snowy picture just wouldn't work. Besides, I thought it it might be a good time to talk about some things that have been on my mind, if you'll indulge me for a moment.

The news lately has been distressing: senseless mass killings; discrimination of any number of people; fear so widespread that people are willing to cling to their weapons and their insular slice of the continent at the expense of their humanity; bickering, blaming, name-calling, and general ridicuous behavior of most of our politicians; the rampant materialism and increasing division of our nation. It's enough to make me want to scream...or lash out...or cry...or throw up my hands..or just throw up. Not to mention that this season of supposed good cheer and altruism can be a depressing hell for people who have lost loved ones because their pain is amplified by the fact that everyone else seems so damn happy. I truly can't stand it sometimes.

Yet, I am instantly lifted from the sucking power of this dark mind-muck by the tiniest hint of sweetness--a sparkle of humanity. When I am at my absolute lowest--when my heart is raw and bleeding and open in my chest, vulnerable to the jagged blade of hate--that's when I am most sensitive to the smallest kindness, the quietest act of love. A stranger holds the door open, makes eye contact, and smiles. Someone stands up with you when you speak out against the harming of an animal or some other wrong. Last week, someone told me how much they enjoyed my novel, that they loved my characters and related to them. I can think of no greater praise for a writer, and  I was deeply moved. As silly as people may believe social media to be and as easy an avenue it can be to spread lies and hatred, social media can help people join together: to learn, to grow, and to share the good things that humans do for each other. We can lift each other up, just as easily as we can tear someone down. Why not search for the gold? Caring about others doesn't subtract from your soul, it adds to your happiness bank. The more you care, the more you care. The more open you are to the experience of other human beings, the more open other people are to you.

It doesn't matter what we look like or what religion we follow or don't follow. It doesn't matter where we live or how screwed up our families are. Politics aren't people and shouldn't be treated as such. It doesn't matter what you wear or how big your house is or how much money you make or what the hell the Kardashians are doing. We're all people, damn it, help each other. Take care of each other. Take care of the Earth--our only home. The only thing worse than hate is apathy. The only cure for hatred and apathy is that four-letter word: LOVE. Can we please stop being assholes to each other? A divided nation or region or neighborhood is the breeding ground for terrorism. Hate feeds terrorism. Terrorists win every time we act out of fear and hate. So, just stop. No matter how much it bugs you, be golden instead. You want to lighten your own load? Lift someone else up. Notice how the water in the photo above looks like spun gold? Water is not inherently golden, it reflects everything around it. Be the gold and see how it reflects back to you.