“We have met the enemy and he is us.” — Pogo the Possum
In 2020, I wrote and published forty-nine articles on this blog, all but a few of them concerning the madness and panic we have experienced due to the Corona Monster outbreak. Some of these were informative, some an attempt to be humorous, others opinionated, even a few which employed some degree of sarcasm and ridicule. I appreciate your patience and long-suffering.
However, just as we have left 2020 behind and begun a new year, turning a corner, so to speak, I am also going to be charting a new course and heading into the unknown future, hoping to shine a light in the darkness by which I can see my way clearly and which others, who wish to journey with me, will be attracted to.
There is more than enough data available and so much noise made about this aberration that no one needs to be persuaded any longer. Everyone has made up his/her mind about the corona virus and nothing remains to be said which is going to convince anyone to change their opinion about it, except politicians, of course, who are attentive to every little flicker of the change in the wind. I have come to the conclusion that I am only preaching to the choir of those who hold the same attitude I do. Those who do not are not going to pay any attention to what I say. I am wasting my breath. My time. I am tired of it. Because of this, I am going to shift my focus to something which I consider to be far more important: the way we live and die (because die we will) in a dark and uncertain future. Whether we live or die as a result of the Corona Monster rearing its ugly head should not be our consuming fire. How we respond to the situation is.
I keep an eye on the statistics which WordPress provides to me and have noticed a pattern recently. Out of all the articles I have published in the last year, the ones which drew the most attention by far (see here and here for example) have not been focused directly on the Covid issue or the state of our world. Instead, they have been those in which I offered an affirming message of encouragement, hope, and courage with the intention of building up the moral strength and spiritual fortitude of my readers. (And that of myself, because I need to hear these things just as much as anyone else does.)
These are dark days and appear to be getting more so. If you only focus on the bad news, you will be discouraged, lose hope, and suffer defeat in your own personal spiritual life. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, because we do not have to give in to the negative feeling of despair. We can be hopeful, we can be encouraged, we can be strong and victorious over the vicissitudes of life which seek to destroy us. No matter which way the world turns, our attitude can be positive and vibrant with the joy of life which is within us. We have the choice before us: to live well, proactively and positively, OR to only live, reactively and resignedly, which is not really living at all.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” —Viktor Frankl, from Man’s Search for Meaning
OK, let’s cut to the chase. From here on out, increasingly, spiritual inspiration is going to be the main driver of my message. This does not mean that I am going to disregard the chaos and flux which is happening around us. Pollyanna is not going to be my model. Don’t worry about that. My articles are still going to be as pointed and hard-hitting as ever, but even though I might write about some particular issue, the underlying message will be one of hope and encouragement so that others can find their way through the fog and emerge stronger than ever when it dissipates. There is a silver lining behind every cloud and I am determined to find it.
My mother always wanted me to be a preacher. My father’s opinion was that I should have been a lawyer. I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to be a philosopher. Probably, all three of these have coalesced into who I am right now.
Hang on. Life is a wild, exhilarating, beautiful ride and then we die, only to hear those words,
“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” — Matthew 25:23
How can it get any better than that?