First and foremost, I hate politics. It’s just a bunch of people screaming and angry and divided. And I have to be honest, while this election, Covid-19, and 2020 in general has been rough, none of that scares me more than the hate, anger, panic, and divide of humankind—and I see all of that mostly displayed in politics.
I’m sorry but…can’t we just have a proper discussion instead of everyone yelling at each other? You know, have a discussion like…like adults? And hear both sides of the argument, instead of being so certain we’re right. And when we disagree, we don’t need to start an all out war, we can just agree to disagree. Once again…like adults.
Because I feel like our politics are a five year old’s temper tantrum. But while the ugly side of humanity seems more apparent on online political wars, it is also evident everywhere else, so do me (and yourself, and everyone else on this entire freaking planet) a huge favor, and STOP PANICKING!
Look, I have suffered from panic attacks before, I know it’s not as simple as, “Calm down.” But for goodness sake, what advantage do you have when you’re panic-stricken? I think that is a disadvantage, because when you’re screaming out in fear and anger, no one can understand you. Even if what you’re saying is true.
I used to play basketball. How does this tie in with panicking and freaking out? I’ll tell you, we sucked at playing basketball. We were probably one of the worst teams out there, and I was definitely one of the worst players. I was confused all the time, I always felt like I was half in the dark—we’d practice one thing and then do another when it came to an actual game. That’s how it felt to me, at least.
I spent half of the game not knowing where the heck I was supposed to be standing, and the rest of my team wasn’t much help either. We had no idea what was happening. Those games were total chaos, and I hated it. That chaos, confusion, and anger, that is all I see in the world today. In politics, on social media, and everywhere else.
The world today is like my team was—panicked, confused, pushing each other out of the way, focusing on all the wrong things, and so angry. At ourselves, at the other team, at a teammate that made a mistake. We should have had a clear plan, a clear way of communication and coordinating as a team—just like we should today. Or else, dear world, you’re also losing all the games you’re going to play, if you don’t learn to listen and understand.
So, world of anger, chaos, and panic—world that yells more than necessary, and thinks it is more right than it actually is—stop it. You’re destroying us. Stop it.
That is not the demand of a parent or teacher; but a plea. It’s the whisper of a dying man’s last words.
It will not make things any better if you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, scaring your neighbors in your own frightened state, misleading everyone with the half truths you think you know, it won’t help them or you.
The panic and anger is a hindrance, and if we’re ever defeated, that will be why.
What are you afraid of? The human race going extinct? Catching Covid? Death? Why are you panicking? And is it over something you could actually control? If not, then why are you panicking?
Storytime—which, I swear, ties in with what I was going on about: my family—and that includes parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, so on and so fourth—has this thing where, when their children would go snooping where they shouldn’t, they would tell them, “The mouse is coming! The mouse is coming!” And the children would run away and stop sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.
Sometime ago, a friend of mine, who’s family had the same “tradition,” came to me. There was this whole thing going on where some of her so called “friends” were trying to scare her in order to keep her from accepting this opportunity that had presented itself. (I’m being vague for privacy reasons.) But her friends didn’t want her to accept the opportunity, and thus they tried to discourage her by trying to scare her.
But she told me, “When I was young, and they said, ‘The mouse is coming! The mouse is coming!’ I ran. But now that I’m older, I’m smart enough to not run before I see the mouse.”
So just like she realized that she didn’t have to run everytime someone said, “Run and hide! We’re all going to die!” We should learn that just because everyone around us is screaming, doesn’t mean we have to get caught up in the craziness. Just because the news says, “Gorillas are taking over New York City! Murder Hornets Are Gonna Eat Us Alive! Your Grandmother Ate A Penguin!” doesn’t mean you have to start running in circles BEFORE making sure what they’re saying is true, and if it could be true, worry about it once it actually happens.
And if it’s not true, you panicked for no reason. And if it is, what difference did panicking make? Absolutely none, except making life more miserable than necessary. Don’t be fearful because of hearsay, or because of what you read in the news. Fear is a brilliant manipulator.
So don’t let fear manipulate you. Don’t panic, it doesn’t help. Use your eyes, see what is happening. Don’t numb your brain with fear and panic and instead, keep it sharp and alert. Be ready. To act with kindness, love, and quietly, because the best opponents are the ones we least expect will do anything at all. You don’t have to yell to be heard. Yells are only echoed, but whispers are carried by the wind. Perceive with your eyes, listen with your ears, but keep your head. You’ll be ready for anything thrown at you. Just. Be. Ready.
What should you do if you believe the world is crumbling at your feet?
If you’ve lost a loved one, mourn their passing and remember the good memories. If you feel like you live in the midst of the chaos and upheaval, take a break: put away your phone and watch or read a romantic comedy or a fantasy. If you live in the middle of nowhere/have no lockdown restrictions, go on a nature hike or walk. If you’re religious, pray. If you’re a writer, write down your fears of the world crumbling, and make an epic story out of that. Call a loved one, read a book, cuddle with your pet, listen to music, do something kind. In a world of total rubble and chaos, one small good deed, one positive thing, one compliment, one positive mindset, can change the entire game.
So tell your loved ones not only that you love them, but tell them why. Give a stranger a compliment. Smile with your eyes, or better yet, share your true smile. Share a photo of it on Twitter or Instagram. If you live in a city or town, smile at people who pass by your window. Comfort the frightened and lonely, tell them, “we’ve been through worse, we’ll make it through this.” Give a gift. Make someone smile. One little thing can make the biggest difference. Share your success story! Talk about what you love and what you’re passionate about. Learn a language, do something for the first time.
And, for goodness sake, when something good, something funny, something beautiful, happens to you, share it. Normally, I wouldn’t advise this, because I’m selfish enough to think that when I witness something good, it’s my memory. No one else’s. But we need to be selfless enough to be the reason another person finds hope. Do you know what it feels like to make a sad person smile, and a scared person laugh? It’s better than life itself.
Try it, just once. It’s addictive to be there for the abandoned, to turn a frown into a smile, to give hope. To move with passion and love.
I remember the day I did dishes for the first time. I was so excited, with my mother beside me, giving me instructions although I had watched her do it hundreds of times before. I was maybe six, maybe seven. Then, in the midst of that, she suddenly said, “Scarlet, don’t ever let your love grow cold.”
I looked at her weird, “What do you mean?”
“Love can grow cold or run out easily,” she replied, “Don’t ever let your heart grow cold and loveless. The world without love is a dreaded place.”
I still didn’t understand what she meant. I loved my toys, my pet dog, I loved playing, and I loved my family. How could such a thing run out? That was impossible! But as I grew older, I learned that acting with kindness and love got harder. It’s not instinct anymore. And the world is no longer a loved filled place, such as I thought when I was six. But I hope to one day become my six year old self again, when love growing cold seemed preposterous.
I encourage you, tell me three good things down in the comments. Something good that happened to you, either recently or otherwise. Someone or something that you love that gives you hope. However big or small, just something you’re grateful for. Leave a message that would make a crying person smile or a worried person laugh. And please share that message on other social media platforms, and encourage your followers to do the same thing. Write letters of kindness on a piece of paper and share it with a person who needs it. Send it to someone who misses you.
Please share this post on social media, and share the message with friends and family. Don’t be panicked or afraid, but alert. Be kind. It will make all the difference.
And smile. Because even if things grow worse, and even if everything does end up growing cold and empty, that is your best weapon.
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