|Dandelions, photo by Marcel Grieder, used under cc license, with attribution
The title of this post is from one of my favorite recurrent themes in the Berkeley Breathed comic, Bloom County. Whenever things would get overwhelming, Opus would head out to the dandelion patch to chill out. The strip I linked to is from 2009; it is just as relevant today.
Not only are world events still horrific, there is even more of the sense that we are all living in a constant state of outrage. And in so many cases, that outrage is either manufactured by media spin, or by our own desire to feel something.
So much of what we choose to feel seems like the negative emotions: outrage, fury, jealousy, pettiness.
Not that there aren't plenty of real and terrible things to feel outrage over. It's just that if outrage is our default response to the smallest of things, what is left for the truly outrageous?
Someone recently said some unkind things about me and one of my books. I think it was meant to spark some kind of outrage in me or in others. And honestly? My first reaction was one of confusion. Then I began to feel sorry for the person who wrote the piece. I suspect that this person is living in or is fueled by that state of outrage. It must be a terribly isolating and distressing place to be.
I choose otherwise.
Partly that's out of sheer perspective. In the past 4 years, my family was forced to flee our house in barefeet and pajamas one winter morning and watch it burn. I witnessed dementia tangle my mother's mind and soul and held her hand as she died. I nearly lost someone I love dearly to suicide.
I am crystal clear on what's important in my life and what is simply dandelion fluff.
So here is my reminder: when faced with outrage, consider if what is pulling on your emotions is worthy of such an intense response. I invite you to choose otherwise. There's a spot in the dandelion patch waiting for you.