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Cancel culture.

Outrage culture.

It seems nary a day goes by these days that we don’t hear from people outraged over something. 

Wearing a facemask.

How the school board acted.

Something Dr. Seuss wrote over 50 years ago.

What we printed. 

Or didn’t print.

What our old President did.

Or what the new guy isn’t doing.

At the Herald offices we were asked for advice from someone generally upset with “how the world was going.”

On the one hand, I’m not sure we’re qualified to answer. We just print the news. 

On the other hand, what was clear to us was that it’s easy to look at any of the large-scale  “-ism” issues, see how complex and pervasive they are, and just throw your hands up in helpless defeat.

So stop looking at the big picture issues.

And stop letting the actions of other people dictate your worldview and happiness.

What can you do alone, where you are at, to improve the world?

Pick up the trash on one section of road?

Become a substitute grandparent for one child?

Mow your neighbors yard?

My own mother comes to mind. She’s advancing in years. Her health is declining. She can’t do everything she used to do. 

But she can knit.

And knit she does.

Hats for preemie babies.

Thousands of them, over the years.

All donated to local hospitals.

Many of them using donated yarn.

Mom just provides the labor. She’ll tell you “it’s just something to keep my hands busy.”

But she’s changing the world.

I always have music going when I write. As I sat down to write this, Louis Armstrong’s voice started coming from my speakers. The song he was about to play was one you have heard – “Its a Wonderful World.

Armstrong said that people would ask him how he could keep playing that song when there were wars, disease, and unrest. 

How could he sing that the world was so wonderful?

“Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love, baby – love. That’s the secret.”

– Louis Armstrong

It’s up to you to figure out how – and who – to show that love to.