Although I like to stay informed, I’ll be the first to admit that I try my best to stay away from topics that tend to stir up controversy. I don’t like debating. I don’t like politics. My heart aches every time I see another innocent person has been shot or another town has been blown up by a suicide bomber, but I don’t like to talk about it, because talking about it makes it real. And no matter what I say, no matter what anyone says, there’s going to be someone out there who finds fault with your perspective. I’d rather avoid that entirely.
In the face of negativity, my first instinct is to run. This is nothing new. I’ve always been like this. I don’t like to pick fights because fighting takes energy. If I’ve been hurt, I probably won’t say anything, because for me, it’s easier to just ignore it. I don’t like to argue unless I’m one hundred percent certain that I know what I’m talking about, and I’m more than often not. I prefer peace and happiness, as I think, do most people. I’ve simply always been of the (incorrect) mindset that the best way for me to keep people happy is to simply shut my mouth and act as though everything is just fine.
Now, I do think there is merit in seeing the goodness in every day. I can usually find something that gives me joy, and I’m constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to have a loving family, a career that I love, food on the table, flowers in my backyard, the opportunity and freedom to travel… It’s important to find the happiness in your life, because I think it opens your heart up to helping others find their happiness. But sometimes, happiness is not enough. It’s not what’s needed. Justice is needed. Peace is needed. The willingness to listen and to hear our fellow human being when they cry out to us for help.
For so long, I’ve tried to retreat, to stay hidden in my own world. My brain is a messy, cluttered place, but it’s so much easier to live inside my mind than to face the harsh reality of the world outside. I realize now that I’ve been doing no one any favors by doing so. I don’t know where to go from here. It will still take quite a bit of coaxing, I think, to draw me out of my fortress. But I can’t live anymore, willfully pretending that our world isn’t very, very broken.