Home | About | Donate

Four Ways to Find Equanimity When the News Is Overwhelming

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/17/four-ways-find-equanimity-when-news-overwhelming

Great advice for the top 30% of the population who are doing good through this pandemic. Perhaps MS. Weil hasn’t noticed the bottom 70% of our society are living through a total dumpster fire, many not knowing where they will lay their head at night, or how they will feed their kids tomorrow.
We are not all in this together.

4 Likes

But we should be, however, the top 30% don’t think so. We are many more than the top 30%, we should be able to work forward for change. We might be ripe for this after four years of el trumpo and decades of repugs/dem elitists rigging the game.

A good reason for support Common Dreams and is my go to for real news. Also read NYT and a lot of times become exhausted with their status quo crap along with all of lamestreet media who are now anti trump but still want status quo.
This is a fight for the life of planet earth and our kids and grandchildren.

2 Likes

Excellent point ReconFire and no we are not all in this together.

We’ve heard that platitude (“we’re all in this together”) over and over again especially during this pandemic and for me it is a cruel form of gaslighting. This is a false statement/false narrative of reality which is particularly harmful to those who are without adequate food or housing, those who are ill and can’t afford to get medical help (such as it is) and I could go on . . . .

I think it’s important to explore ways for how to keep on going when things are so bleak but to do that we can’t ignore the truths: one such truth you point out astutely in your post.

Here at Common Dreams it is pointed out repeatedly that we are NOT all in this together, AGW induced climate catastrophes, the pandemic, health care-----the people with the $$$$ and the power are in control and fare much, much better.

The other issue not openly, clearly stated is the dire reality of the science related to the level of AGW/habitat destruction in 2020.

Zoe Weil suggests:

Envision a future in which people and nature are able to thrive. Then ask yourself: What are the keys to building such a future?

Frankly there may not be any keys available to build a future where people and nature thrive.

Unless I’m missing something!

h-ttps://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/15/the-great-unravelling-i-never-thought-id-live-to-see-the-horror-of-planetary-collapse?from=samsung_news_daily_card

In the link above climate scientist Dr Joëlle Gergis writes the following:

"Given that humanity is facing an existential threat of planetary proportions, surely it is rational to react with despair, anger, grief and frustration. To fail to emotionally respond to a level of destruction that will be felt throughout the ages feels like sociopathic disregard for all life on Earth.

To confront this monumental reality and then continue as usual would be like buying into a collective delusion that life as we know it will go on indefinitely, regardless of what we do. The truth is, everything in life has its breaking point. My fear is that the planet’s equilibrium has been lost; we are now watching on as the dominoes begin to cascade."


More thoughts:

For those who have the luxury of keeping up with the news----yes, it is essential to limit one’s intake to stay sane and/or not sink into deep depression given the facts around us.

I have not fully figured out how to do that in this pandemic-----many things I turned to to alleviate depression are no longer options and I’m drawn to the horrors (via the news) in a way that I’ve never experienced before.

My most necessary inanimate object right now (besides shelter): my extra strong, thick night mouth guard! I would literally have no intact teeth if I did not have this amazing thing that protects my teeth from grinding/clenching at night due to the stress of human civilization -----and living in the u.s.

Finding solace in nature is still possible for many—but not all and that breaks my heart. And all ecosystems all over the planet are in distress due to human behaviors----for those that see this, being “out in nature” can be traumatic.

Music is and always has been saving grace, will be helpful forever (perhaps beyond this life—is there music in the universe?) . . . it has helped everyone in every sphere of life survive the most dire and cruel conditions including slavery.

4 Likes

Thanks for calling out the difficulty of this little mandate (“unless I’m missing something” indeed!)

I’ve mainly been exploring realistic, interpersonal fiction, not speculative fiction! (except I made a recent exception for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – a foundational masterpiece of speculative fiction!)

It’s difficult enough just figuring out what the hell is going on, without assuming any responsibility for steering the avalanche, or imagining how all the tumbling rubble might eventually arrange itself. This cheerful command (from a typical young person attempting to affect wisdom, it seems to me) reminds me of the universal mandate for solutions to any problems you notice. It’s hard enough just surviving while staying somewhat conscious. Just yesterday I stumbled upon an NOAA blobtracker which pretty much explains why CA is irremediably cooked:

~https://www.integratedecosystemassessment.noaa.gov/regions/california-current/cc-projects-blobtracker

Does this “experimental tool” propose any means of cooling the ocean back down? I don’t think so! I can’t even explain why more comprehensively factual information is something worth exploring, why living in reality is preferable to inhabiting custom fantasies. That’s just a hunch on my part, a leap of faith that truth just might make a difference to someone at some point.

Incidentally, regarding attention to the present moment, some posts back I related my discovery of turmeric without the related revelation of bitter melon! I don’t know if you can find this incredible vegetable – beloved of South Asians – anywhere around there. It’s an outrageous flavor to die for, or to make another day of life on Earth so much more delicious. That’s all you can ask for, imho.

1 Like

There is Wild Huckleberry Jam too. Fruit pectin, lemon juice, and Huckleberries. Yummmmmmm!

On homemade sourdough…

Think of 10 ways you are different from your political adversary, or ideological nemesis. Be sure you spell nemesis correctly.

There are times when equanimity is just another word for acting like an ostrich. And I can no longer do that.
Time to face reality-that this is the Sixth Great Extinction, willfully caused by humans. And Gaia is now in a feedback loop that can only become more extreme until the imbalance is corrected. Seeing as how we’re doing squat about climate change, that means our remaining time can be counted in months, not years. I figure 2024 is Zero Hour.
I can feel it-in the wind, in how animals are acting, in the very vibrational energy of the earth. Yet when a car plant is facing shutdown, the workers can only think about making more cars, electric cars, not asking where the minerals, metals, and other ingredients are coming from to make the batteries, what other country’s resources, water, air, and soil is being polluted to keep on making these monsters. They should be thinking way outside the box-to mass transit, to small cities, to restore Nature to at least 60% of the land masses. But all I hear is…jobs. Kinda hard to work when you’re extinct.
Other jobs they could do, but are considered lowly-urban farms. Elder and child care. Picking up litter. Anything considered to be “woman’s work” or for migrant workers brought a couple thousand miles to tend and pick crops.
We have a few months, maybe, to shut it all down and hit the reset button. C-19 was meant to do that. Guess Gaia will need something much stronger to pry the Global North from its consumerist ways. And its addiction to cars.

2 Likes

I think more people are adapting to a virtual world, at least younger generations, they have little or no interest in the natural world as anything more than entertainment. It is no loss to them as they never see it anyway let alone understand the significance. I guess instinctively there is curiosity in the very young. Honestly. when did name calling become news?

2 Likes

Me too.

That is why when people say “go out in nature to feel better” it is not that simple.

I’ve never seen the squirrels, chipmunks and jays so desperate for food—acting more aggressive than in years past.

The number of birds has declined dramatically (as we know). I better stop writing about this and sign off as the thought of all this is unbearable. Grief at night is the worst. Will turn to music for now.

1 Like

That damn blob. Damn humans. Years ago some thought it was kind of funny when it was first discovered and named “the blob”. I found it to be terrifying and yet another clear signal of a dying ocean due to humans.

But getting to a happy subject: turmeric----I ate a whole container last night/today of the best hummus I have ever tasted(that is not hyperbole—I’m not a fan of hummus): “revolutionary earthy majestic sprouted hummus with turmeric”

Just the thing on this dark, cold, snowy (WTF??? it’s October!) Saturday.

Perhaps Frankenstein is what I need to read as the election approaches. Didn’t Shelley write it during the dark time after volcano eruption? What would she be writing now? Can you imagine? Will dig through my book boxes tomorrow with a mission (but no hummus left)!

The other thing I could ask for is about 6 (+) hours of sleep at night. The stress of the “election”, AGW, trump supporters everywhere apparent where I live is wreaking havoc on getting rest. Wake with night terrors of trump holding on to power and those supporting him getting crazier . . . . . . and of course collapsing ecosystems which is not going to stop happening.

I’ve not tried bitter melon----they probably have it at the co-op I belong to, will check it out.

1 Like

Handle with extreme care if you find it! Scrape out the insides to discard, slice the rind into strips and marinate (in 1T soy sauce or whatever) for at least four hours. Then you squeeze it, gently, to wring out just enough bitter to make it palatable. Don’t cook it much more then – add it at the last moment. The little strips are astringency grenades which explode in your mouth and then turn all your cells inside out. It’s a psychoactive trip which should be on everyone’s bucket list. I have no idea why bitter melon isn’t illegal.

This article must have been written in the early morning, it reads like a wooster crowing bring the Sun up over the horizon.