Be the Positive You Want to See in the World

Politics & Policy

We Can Be Better than This

Originally posted on Facebook:

You ever have that feeling like you really want to post something on Facebook (or somewhere), because it seems extraordinarily important, but the reality is no one really listens to each other and it won’t make a difference, so why bother? At some point, even narcissism cannot overcome the pointlessness of it.

I have lately been driven toward ambivalence on almost all things. I cannot exaggerate my disappointment with humanity or my role in its collective failure, and so like all beaten things I retreat into silent grumbling and insular behavior.

There is just so much screaming, and none of it joyful. I want to yell “Loud noises!” and bury my head in a book or game or outdoor activity. I want to be free of it, all of it, including you and all your petty pain and irritation. Not you personally. But all of you, collectively. I’m so tired of all our your shit.

In the entire 3.7 billion year history of our planet, we have never been in a better position to do great things. We have more technology, more bounty, more free time, more opportunity and we take all of that and produce…this.

The President of the United States is in a Twitter war with the NFL over kneeling during the National Anthem while three million Puerto Ricans are without power or running water. That is what we are. That is our contribution to human progress. Can you even contemplate the vast and staggering disappointment of that one fact?

I’m so proud of those of you who keep moving forward, trying here and there in some small way to do something. I admire your strength and tenacity with unabashed awe. I even respect the incalculable energy it takes to maintain the coherence of your delusion. And I’m truly sorry that it won’t make any difference. We are broken toys, and you cannot fix us.

Of course, I don’t really believe that. I believe that we have something to offer the universe, all evidence to the contrary. I believe that we are capable of great beauty, powerful change, phenomenal discovery and unimaginable empathy. I believe in the laughter of children, great conversations over wonderful meals, flashes of insight, every kind of genius, acts of pure kindness, heart-rending love and even occasional, undeniable altruism.

And perhaps that is why it is so hard. What I believe and what I see and feel are at war. It has gone so far beyond cognitive dissonance that it is almost schizophrenia. Today, my belief and love for all of you is enough to overwhelm the evidence that we are petty, murdering assholes who would rather see the world burn than honestly address our own shortcomings. Tomorrow, who knows? My guess is that it will be disappointing beyond words. I hope I’m wrong.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if for just one day, we could all just stop?

If for one day nobody posted how much they hated X or despised Y or wish Z would just die already. One day when it was illegal for the news to be bad or to raise your finger or voice in anger. One day where it was okay to just hug someone you’ve never met because who knows how shitty their yesterday was or how bleak their tomorrow will be.

Because we can be better than this, right?


I may sound like Winnie the Pooh and Eor had a delusional love child, but I think we’re all children when we’re honest. Before we built or thick skins and applied our filters and had things we were afraid to lose, we all spent more time figuring out how we fit in the world and less time hating others for not fitting in our version of it.

So in my own childish way, I’m going to try to make those days for myself. Maybe if I am truly the change that I want to see in the world, some tiny part of it will spread. I will try less to be right and try more to listen. I will try less to win and try more to observe. I will try, and I will try, and I will believe. I’m not sure what else I can do.

We’ll see how it goes.

Leave a Reply