“What is the world coming to?” “I’m just scared for future generations.” – things I, and probably you, hear daily. Especially if you just got back to Indiana and are sitting in any given coffee shop at any given time. But really, it’s not only in conservative, right-leaning cities that you hear these things. I hear it everywhere, and I’m just over here like do we live in the same world?
Maybe I really do see la vie en rose*, but to me, the world we live in today is not so bad. With the touch of a button, we can FaceTime someone living in Paris. We have a personal assistant built in our phones named Siri. We can learn pretty much anything from our phones without getting out of bed. The technology is amazing. Gay marriage is legal. The Cuba embargo has been lifted. The USA is no longer in a recession. There are plenty of examples that show the world is a great place, and also that the future looks pretty bright – so keeping that in mind, I live my life from a “happy place.”
Then you have the people in these coffee shops, the ones who say “What is the world coming to?” and “I’m just scared for future generations.” Maybe you even think this?
Where does this fear come from?
Let’s take the 2016 Presidential Election, for example. We hear politicians vying for our vote and we tune in to do our duty as citizens to help decide our future. If you haven’t noticed, notice now that what they say is the same every election cycle. “America is going straight into the ground.” “We need change.” “This country has already seen its best days.” They bash and spread lies about other candidates to attempt to win over your trust…through fear tactics. It’s silly and people buy into it; hence the inspiration behind this post.
Now look at the news. Same thing. One horrific thing to the next. If it’s not the West Nile Virus, it’s a recession, and if it’s not a recession, it’s the crash of the stock market, or Ebola, or a terrorist attack, or a crash in your hometown. It’s war. It’s terrorism.
Not to say these things aren’t happening, but politicians, much like media, work in the same way. Both use fear mongering and sensationalism to reel you in. Fear drives the media. Fear drives your vote. Fear is manipulation. If the media or politicians can make you scared enough about your future, or the future of the USA, you’re more apt to tune in to more media…more media that fuels your fear…making you want to tune in. You think that it’s better to trust them, than “to be sorry.”
Think back to two years ago, or five years ago, or ten years ago. People who live their lives through fear said the same things. “What is the world coming to?” “I’m just scared for future generations.” Hmm, what is the world coming to? What the world has come to are all the good items we listed just at the beginning of this post. There has always been something bad happening in the world even back then, but look at all the progress that has been made since. Politicians and media have a way of magically making you forget that the world we live in today is actually pretty great, and instead freak you out with all the problems, which in return keeps you saying “What is the world coming to?”. It’s a manipulative cycle, until you realize that it’s just a game.
What it comes down to is that many people are living their lives from a fear-focused mindset. And man, is that crappy way to live. It’s almost as if you, yourself, have given up on the future being anything other than terrible, as if you’re not the one generating your own future. No one is controlling your future but you – not the media, not the politicians. Secondly, the average person you run into is not a bad person. In fact, very rarely do you come across someone who is a “bad person” – yet you feel like the world is a bad place. This kind of thinking is destructive.
The next time you’re reading the news, try to notice these things. Realize that life isn’t as extreme as the media makes it seem, and that what you think of what’s happening around you, is ultimately up to you. Not what the TV feeds you.
Choose to see la vie en rose. You’ll be a lot happier.
*La vie en rose: Literally “life in pink.” Made famous by French singer, Edith Piaf. The idea is to describe a state where everything appears “rosy” and joyful to you. Not to say that you’re living a naive, blind life, but rather quite the opposite. That you choose to see past the negative energy, and see the bliss instead.