“I do exist, don’t I? It often feels as if I’m not here, that I’m a figment of my own imagination. There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock.”
— Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
I used to enjoy waking up to watch the news in the morning but between the past presidency and the pandemic, I’ve been feeling rather pessimistic about both the current state of our world and our collective future.
It isn’t just the news stations. It’s social media too. I log into Facebook and Twitter and I see so much pain and anger. Everywhere I look the world is burning, flooding, and fighting. People are sick. People are tired. People are lost and afraid, but nowhere are people at all willing to put petty differences aside to save the whole of humanity.
Sure we could change, but we won’t. We are a historically stubborn species and once we have decided on a course, almost nothing will move us. I don’t really blame us. We have our language and our reasoning, but deep down there is hardly any difference between us and the rest of the animal kingdom.
We want power, status, and wealth: things we think promise survival. We are wrong by instinct. We are driven to our destruction by our very biology.
So, it would seem that the human species is experiencing its last death throes and we are bringing the entirety of life on this planet with us. Facing such mortality, all I have found to be grateful for is knowing that I will not live to see the worst of it, only this awful beginning.
I’m grateful too for the bubble of happiness around me. The cushion of love and support I have is such a privilege and I wonder to what end I could put it to use for a greater good. I may be disappointed and depressed by the state of the world, but I still care, and I want to help.
No one of us can save the whole of it or stop what is now an inevitability. We have failed ourselves and each other, but there is no undoing or redoing. All we can do now is focus our personal privilege and small actions on easing suffering where we can. This is the work we have now. This is all we can offer one another anymore.