Today my character was besmirched in the worst way imaginable by a random, internet troll. Earlier this week my family was forced to brave walmart in facemasks. Both experiences left me feeling like the worst, imaginable version of myself. My imagination is indulgent, as I imagine that most imaginations are and so my initial response to conflict is to cathartically imagine a reaction that satiates my evolved desire for ritcheous indignation. There is no sweeter pie than this fantastical indulgence, wherein you are so damn right that you may do no wrong. Unfortunately though, this perspective is both foolishly imaginary and completely devoid of useful imagination. It’s imaginably, unimaginative and I believe that we as a people are allowing our emotions to restrict the the boundaries of our imagination.
Let me start with the internet troll. Today, some guy said some very terrible things about me on social media. I won’t go into detail because it’s not worth legitimizing in any way. However, this issue of how we as a people interface with each other, both individually and collectively in a world of social media is pretty much the meat and potatoes of this shit stew that we now call our reality. When any random jackass can string together a mostly coherent sentence and then “publish” it on the most relevant source of absorbed media in the modern world… it has an effect. It’s out there like some dangerously, dirty street candy. We see it and we know that it’s gross but we just can’t help but to imagine that it is also delicious.
I dont know what this guy’s motivations are but I imagine that they aren’t exactly pure. I know that he’s full of shit and is for some reason targeting me and that doesn’t feel good. So I imagine the many ways in which I could hurt him back. It feels good for a second until I realize that I’m still thinking about it and that feels bad.
Does this sound familiar?
So I realize that while I want to engage with this guy because he has defiled my honor so publicly; it would be not only a futile endeavor but a counter-productive one. It would simply feed the beast.
Our collective failure of imagination is a reality where we are more concerned with looking right than being right.
Our world doesn’t need any more ritcheous indignation. It needs compassion and patience and tolerance. Really, what it needs is love. My desire to hurt this guy is a mostly, lizard brain reaction. Justified or not, it will not serve my world in a way that benefits what I imagine it could be. There should be no other considerations past this; everything else is a distraction.
More importantly, my kids are watching me and I have a responsibility to be the example.
Now about Walmart…
It sucks. Walmart sucks under the best of conditions and it is rendered much worse by the mandatory mask requirement. It’s not so much the mask as it is the dark emotional cloud of frustration which is unavoidably pervasive because of fact that the thing which already sucks must be made so much suckier.
What I want to do is to yell and scream and destroy but this is not why I’m here. Im here for the discount pricing on toilette paper and cat food. I see the people around me and I can tell that they too simply what cheap toilette paper and cat food. I can see that they too want to yell and scream and destroy. I realize that by indulging in my imagined, self ritcheous indignation that I will only not help but I will create more problems. This is not why I’m here. This is never why I’m anywhere.
I would like to imagine both a better world and a better me.
All of this strife and conflict and pain… its just imaginary. More importantly though. It’s unimaginative. What the world needs now is leaders who may rise above the temptation to sink.
Our kids are watching us.
What the world needs now is the courage to imagine a world that may imagine boldly. Imagine, if you will, A word imagined that embraces the unimaginably imaginable; a world where we are more than simply reactive….where collectively we seek to build rather than to destroy.