That is the truth. I’d like to pretend that I know what is occurring in the world around me, but I really don’t. Recently I got into an argument with a close friend about how oblivious I appear to be with regard to what is going on in the world around me. In her opinion, I should be more concerned about current politics. She is upset, passionate, and she feels that every single person who crosses her path needs to take a stand with her. She thinks I need to educate myself as to why the dollar is losing value. Fully aware of the struggles I have faced in my life, she says I need to allow my voice to be heard and I need to stop living in my own little bubble because, apparently, one day it is going to burst. Reality, Reality, Reality… Newspapers (Do they even exist anymore?) Magazines, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, BBC, Blah, Blah, Blah! I have a headache just thinking about all of it now! My seeming disinterest has nothing to do with the fact that these conversations make me uncomfortable; it’s moreso that I don’t want to feel angry all the time. I do want to be informed — just not infuriated.
Every time I see the word “recession,” I just think of 5th grade recess. That may seem incongruent yet that’s the course my thoughts take. I fully understand that times are tough; people are working twice as hard just to make half of what they deserve. I felt the market crash when it occurred; my home was foreclosed on, so it wasn’t just a news article for me. I knew what it felt like to live the American Dream only to discover it was an illusion as I stared at an eviction notice. The high cost of education and mounting student loans aren’t just a sound bite as I flip through channels; I am the perfect example of a struggling college student who has had to work over forty hours a week, yet I still have not completed my Bachelors degree.
I live in one of the most affluent counties in the United States but our family income is not enough to meet all of our needs. Headlines state that a high percentage of families can’t afford to maintain health insurance — I have never had health insurance! These are just small examples of how these political issues have directly affected my life whether or not I read the paper. This may make people like my friend assume that I am the perfect example of someone who should be fighting against “the system” but it doesn’t make me want to do that yet. For some people politics is their passion. Politics will be their passion regardless of whether they agree or disagree with what’s occurring in the moment.
I don’t need daily news as my wake up call to remind me of what our reality really is. I have felt it. I have been a victim of it. I have survived it. We all can choose whether and how we make a difference in society, and how we want to deal with society, or whether or not we even really want to make positive contributions to society. Maybe I would prefer to travel the world, with my journal in hand, read literature instead of news items and collect coffee cups as souvenirs from each airport. What if, instead of trying to reach multiple people in a short amount of time, I’d rather interact with one person, share my thoughts, transform a life, and move on? Why is that a problem?
People are so caught up in reality that they forget reality is but a dream itself. Now maybe this is just my twenty three year-old mind talking because, to a lot of people, I have a lot of life to live and a lot more ‘reality’ to endure — but, until then, I must admit that I don’t want to care. I care but I just don’t want to care right now. I believe that being angry about everything or even putting the opposing side down isn’t the way things get solved. I don’t like it — but to hate it doesn’t help it either. In my opinion, it’s unhealthy. I don’t want to be burdened with thoughts of how awful everything is all the time.
You may call it fantasy, make believe, excessive daydreaming — whatever you like. Then call me selfish, too, because I am not interested in pulling society out of its current mess and moving it to a safer resting place. I don’t feel like choosing sides right now. I don’t want to formulate an opinion that only leads to being stubborn, narrow-minded and bitter. To me, life is about living…so don’t judge me for choosing to live my life instead of watching and reading about how bad it’s supposed to be.
“We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.” – Bryan White