Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fighting Back Indifference and Pessimism

There are two feelings that I always seem to be fighting away. I struggle with them and they slow my progress down to a crawl. It’s like my entire life gets stuck in cement and I just can’t move. Those two feelings are indifference and pessimism.

Indifference is more of a coping mechanism than a real feeling. At some point your mind decides that you have invested enough in whatever the issue is and decides to shut down the section that makes you care. Whatever happens is just going to happen and I am not worried. As long as I don’t have to be involved in the circumstances it doesn’t bother me. I have my own life to worry about. My indifference is spread across personal relationships and the community at large. I find myself not making calls to stay connected to certain people like I used to. It doesn’t bother me if my phone doesn’t ring that much. I don’t read every news story with as much attention as I should. Some things I don’t read at all. A smart man told me today that after Katrina we had no choice but to be overly involved and he was right. These days I have more of a choice and I choose to ignore a lot of things.

The best thing about indifference is that it’s very curable. No matter how much you think you don‘t care there’s always something that can snap you back into consciousness. I act like I am not really concerned about some of the people in my life but if they called right now with something serious they needed me to help them take care of I would spring into action. Some people ignore the problems in their community but if the right event happens they take notice and get involved.

Pessimism is an entirely different animal for me. I find pessimism much more difficult to get over than indifference because when I am pessimistic about something there’s concrete evidence and experiences to back up why I feel the way I do. I don’t have a positive outlook on the violence in my city because I am living through my second decade of it. It’s not like this behavior just came out of nowhere. I am pessimistic about getting involved with parent groups at the school because whenever I go it’s the same old people. I don’t have much confidence that anyone else is going to be there and get involved.

The biggest challenge I have with being pessimistic is that I have never been able to ignore what I see and replace it with a thought that I have no proof of. I really want to feel like things are going to be better than they have been but it’s difficult. Maybe if we went a month without any shootings I would feel better. Maybe if we had a parent meeting at the school and there was standing room only that would do it. Maybe if no one called me in crisis looking for assistance and if at my job we didn’t have any new client records because there were no new homeless people are families in crisis I might be able to beat back the pessimistic part of my attitude. I don’t think any of these things will happen anytime soon. I don’t know how to not pay attention enough to not realize that nothing is changing. Since I can’t ignore I guess I have to engage myself and try to make things better. I’m just saying……some positive reinforcement wouldn’t be bad every now and then.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest we can return to regularly scheduled blogging.

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