Had enough yet? You full? Feel informed? Or at least assaulted by information? I do. And I’m sure I’m part of the problem, if there is one. As much as I do edit and critique the words and images I put out into the world for their merit, their positivity, for some semblance of value to another human being, I still am part of the hoards aiming to do the same thing. And I’m here to tell you, it’s just a fuckin opinion, one of about 7 billion multiplied by however many thoughts cross our minds a day. You are smart enough to make up your own mind, so although I write in hopes to shed light and insight on my experience thus far, and I genuinely enjoy this form of expression and connecting with so many through it, I don’t believe for a second my view matters more than yours, or another’s.
Congruent with my sentiments on our 24 hour “news” cycle and our sickness of being inundated with opinions and stories but bereft of facts and truth, there is a saturated market still being violently tapped. Many are simply seeking an avenue with which to express themselves, in their original way, and for that to maybe make a difference in their lives. By this I mean exposure to various demographics and large numbers of people, connections with those who inspire and could influence their livelihood and the chance at living the life they love and not having to settle for second best.
It’s already difficult to get people to read a whole book, let alone dense articles, online, thrown out with a cavalcade of others. I’m learning through pursuing most of my writing online that image and title are often everything, so the genres with which you read online will often start bleeding together with similar offerings. The content, the meat of the piece, the heart and soul of the artist (could be written, captured or expressed, not just a specific type of art) is largely ignored, so that damn title and glance better stand out. Soon, the individual is missed, people are bombarded by opinions, positive, negative and anything else in between, and it has now become difficult to decipher the worthiness, so we just want to say fuck it, shut it down.
I carry a lot of optimism, despite how it may read here, because I’ve learned and am still reminding myself that this pursuit is for me, the expression and release is selfish and just one piece in a small puzzle of billions that are mine and no one else’s. Same goes for you, when you express what you choose, regardless of the response or audience, you’ve created something that is uniquely yours and if you’re satisfied enough to share it, then good on you. My hope is that this projection, regardless how authentic the content, is not served as an avenue for hatred of something or someone else, that its escape from your eyes into the world’s is simply to overcome the fear of vulnerability and to maybe resonate and inspire another. With that being said, we all have the choice to consume what we wish, so if it’s nasty or hateful, I simply won’t read it. There’s an audience for everything, though, live and let live.
I was compelled to write as I saw the stream of words and images scroll endlessly across my page, in between where bouts of frustration from friends and colleagues who are similarly drenched in the constant confrontation of opinions. I’ve been a woman of many convictions since quite the young age. I felt strongly about many subjects, carried strong love for some and massive distaste for others, and I had no qualms about expressing these thoughts to the world. As I’ve grown and aged, in particular since I’ve witnessed the internet take over our minds and mouths, I recognize how fleeting these thoughts are. There’s a consensus amongst many that our brains produce up to 70,000 thoughts a day! Digest that for a moment.
There’s no way each one of these carries meaning and there’s even less of a chance that even the most significant thought is more valid than another; another thought or another person’s thought. We all think we’re right, we’re sane, we’re normal, we’re extraordinary, we’re better than another. This is true amongst even the most insecure person. We live first in a world constructed by our minds. We then engage with the world outside of it, interacting and conversing as if the other person has been privy to the nonsense we’ve been discussing in our heads. The issues we have, the dissatisfaction we often feel when moving about our day, stems mostly from our attachment to these opinions. My mom has been saying since before I can remember, that old adage “opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.”
Unless someone is a murderer, a bigot, a racists, a sexist, a homophobe or god forbid a vegetable, there isn’t a reason in the world I shouldn’t listen to their voice with an open mind. Even the views they share from tough subjects I mentioned above is only one slice of a very large, complex pie that makes each human being unique. I may still disagree, but how could I possibly judge someone or write them off completely because we feel differently about issues that in and of themselves are subjective? Is killing babies bad? Yes, I think we’d all agree, but that isn’t the point. The point is you’ll never meet another human being, not your best friend, your life partner, your parent, children, mentor or assistant who carries the same exact opinions as you. It is fundamentally impossible.
I have nearly reached my limit on political opinions specifically, especially the quotes and pictures taken completely out of context, designed to influence thousands in a matter of seconds. Can’t we use our reason anymore? Can’t we be skeptical of this type of information as it’s piped into our brains without even an invitation? Just because I probably won’t vote for a certain candidate does not mean I want to hear useless information about some dumb thing he may have said on a topic that doesn’t relate to my life or anyone else’s. We all deserve to differentiate between quality information and bullshit, between the necessary and the unnecessary, between the informative and the pure gossip. We want a better government, we need a smarter electorate, a populace that won’t simply fall for every 30 second ad, meme, summarization of words or sound bite they come across. We are capable of better. I hope we get there.
These small epiphanies are serving to keep me on track, not to force anyone else to do a thing. I don’t enjoy seeing people get fired up over nonsense, stirring up vitriol and venom over what is essentially, air. Who cares? We vote with our wallets, our ballots, our choices, and if we’re inspired by a cause, then action can be taken to support it, but having the equivalent of a pissing contest online is a waste of energy and creates drama, which the media only perpetuates. I’ve chosen to keep a sharp eye and ear but I feel much less in need of showcasing my opinions and thoughts in some hope to influence or impress another. Why should I be so arrogant to think someone else should feel exactly as I do? Just because I can’t fathom the beliefs of some doesn’t mean my energy is to be expended on changing them. Also, mine change almost constantly, which feels good, to respond to the issue at hand, in the moment, without recycling my past opinions or borrowing another’s.
Share because you want to express yourself. Take all the opinions of others with a grain of salt. Concern yourself only with your own views. Respect that every other person does the same. I wish we could all just laugh off these subjects, instead of taking ourselves so seriously. We can each be our own teacher’s, enjoy and agree with the opinions of some, and ignore or disagree with the beliefs of another, all while living happily as our authentic selves, knowing all this bullshit will change colors tomorrow.
This has been a post about nothing. Thank you for reading. Enjoy today and everyday.