I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop for a little while now, trying to come up with something to write about. I didn’t sleep very well, I have a headache, and I’m cold. I’m tempted to drag my blanket and hot water bottle to the couch and watch crappy TV all day.
It feels a bit odd, to just to sit here and write about the little things when so many big things are going on in the world. When two grown men have entered a pissing contest to see who can piss the furthest while seemingly forgetting this one minor detail of how their little game could end up wiping out part of the world. When in Sydney homeless people are considered a nuissance by the government and are having that which has brought them a sense of community and safety destroyed. When it’s not only our addiction to single-use plastic that is poisoning our oceans and therefore marine life and our bodies, but also the fibres in the clothes we wear without most of us ever having considered this.
Today, I am a five-year-old who wants a cuddle and someone to stroke my hair and tell me it’s all going to be OK
Listen: No, seriously, tell me it’s going to be OK. Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester talk white supremacy. Post continues after audio.
Well, that was depressing. I actually felt my mood sink even lower as I wrote that paragraph. I’m tempted to delete it because I don’t want it to do the same to you. At the same time, it also shows the powerful effects of thinking about big bad things on my sense of wellbeing. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about them – on the contrary! It’s so important to know what is going on in the world, and we can’t just hide and pretend everything is perfectly fine.
It should, however, not result in the kind of paralysis that makes us want to crawl under a blanket and never come out again. These are big issues, too big for anyone to fully comprehend, which can make us feel powerless. We can’t just pick up the phone and call one or two little boys and tell them to stop it. We can’t make every single person reconsider their buying habits and their love of cheap fast-fashion. We can’t conjure up an invisible protective wall around the Martin Place tent camp nor bring down Sydney housing prices and fix the deeply entrenched gender and other inequalities that are the root of the problem.
I’m not doing too well shifting the mood of this post to non-depressing, am I? Let’s try again…
What we can do, is craft a life that reflects our values.
A life that, on a very small-scale level, constitutes a protest against the big things that horrify us. A life that, in very minor ways, helps us to resist the paralysing effects of the ‘too big to comprehend’ and the ‘too messed up to be able to do something about’. It’s important to know and to be reminded that this is something we can do, even though it might feel pointless and self-absorbed. I’m not trying to preach here. I need reminding too, to be told not to drag my body, my blanket, and my hot water bottle to the couch and suffer the big things, but to focus on the everyday.