This past month has found me uninspired, lethargic and, it seems, as if I am in a chronic state of sadness. I, who rarely cry these days, have found myself recently swallowing tears and suppressing moans. While I have often written of depressing events in our world, I have somehow managed to remain generally upbeat and optimistic. I attributed this to the fact that I am old and that I have read it, analyzed it and seen it all before and that, despite the adversity occurring in our world and its often wretched events, we, human beings, have managed to overcome and survive. Recently I am questioning our ability to do so when so much is stacked against all our well-intentioned thoughts, wishes and efforts. It seems to me as if a very dark cloud has been hovering above us all, threatening, menacing and emitting a whole bunch of negative energy that is causing endemic angst and a deep sense of foreboding. In many countries and communities, the wickedness, evil and pure ineptness at the top is seeping throughout the planet and subverting any positive events that are, indeed, occurring in our world.
Other than in a few of the European countries, it seems that “democratic values” are seeing a rapid global erosion, and that the International Powers, beginning with these United States, are continuing to bolster rulers who are, basically, thugs, and who are using their local and state powers to suppress any expression of dissent, protest, or legitimate demands for justice and equality by their citizens. It also appears that all the International Institutions which were initially established to address draconian excesses of all sorts have been emasculated and rendered ineffective.
Nothing proved that to me more than the bloody events in Gaza and the rest of Palestine whence the world stepped aside and allowed a massacre to go on and on and on as we wrung our hands, vented our anger on social media, cried into our pillows and . . . infuriatingly went on with our mundane daily activities while ensconced in our safe enclaves. I can also look at the Rohingya and how they are being slaughtered by an army that seems to become more vicious daily as the world, again, cedes its responsibilities. Across the Planet whether in some areas of these United States, places in Europe, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, in Africa, India and Latin America anguish continues, little children go hungry, are orphaned, trafficked, raped and slaughtered; people, young and old, are being traumatized; terrorists, hackers, cybercriminals, cartels, coyotes, deadly gangs and predators are on the loose in a world that seems to have no constraints on any evil. Immigrants and migrants are being shoved into concentration camps where they may be raped and abused. Shouldn’t we be thinking of how to use our influence and money to keep them in their home countries and stop triggering and encouraging the wars and tyrants that are causing them to flee? World Forums are convened, tons of paperwork are submitted, speeches are made and admonitions are voiced all to no avail whatsoever as the bloodbaths rampage on and on and on with no end in sight! All this, as the dire situation of the US belligerence and antagonism against Iran and, possibly, North Korea (for who can predict how that will pan out), are sounding the knells for wars that no responsible, sane or caring individual can support.
Moreover, the world’s climate is wreaking havoc on communities everywhere with erupting volcanoes, floods and fires, and there is yet much more upheaval to happen while we nonchalantly fill our pools, water our lawns and golf courses; spray poison all over in order to kill weeds and pesky insects; our industries and manufacturers use an inordinate amount of precious metals and resources that are depleting water, contaminating the environment and causing disease and distress in communities that supply all those “necessities” thus causing rampant abuse, strife and wiping away of entire villages. One report after another warns of the contaminants, additives, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and pesticides in our water and food and yet no one seems to care enough to bring it to an end as long as personal and corporate profits come over and above any other consideration. On the one hand, some of us, ordinary citizens, religiously recycle our paper and plastic; switch the faucet off as we brush our teeth and take measures to save the environment that we care about while, on the other hand, continuing to use our mobile phones, computers, and a plethora of gizmos and products that we know are utilizing the most wicked of methods in order to satisfy our modern lifestyles. It is, to say the least, totally and absurdly schizophrenic!
This terrifying situation, whether it is the widespread corruption that has even infected our charitable organizations, seems to have become the norm as we look from our political landscape to the ongoing climate changes to our academic institutions where some of our young innocent teenagers are being raped or shot dead, and all the other blood-curdling events occurring daily and creating more and more untenable conditions. And yet, our venerable politicians continue to squabble over nonsensical issues as they jostle for more wealth and power while eroding all the gains that have been made since the Civil Rights days of yore. More and more States and localities are outlawing abortion, women’s clinics, reversing sensible rules and regulations, and, most importantly, banning protest and dissent as we descend into an abyss where our voices are smothered and our efforts as individuals become more and more hopeless. All this, while most of our corrupt media is supporting all the wrongdoings and not having the gall to speak up on behalf of real issues that affect us all, but, rather, concentrating their efforts on Russia, whores and salacious scandals. They, like the world’s politicians, have absconded their moral imperative and civic duties as they wallow in their cushy jobs and wicked behavior. Shameful, even though they have deleted this word from their lexicons!
If this is a deliberate “conspiracy” – and what else could we attribute it to unless we want to blame “God” again – in order for the corrupt and powerful to dominate and enslave us, then it is certainly succeeding as we writhe in our angst and a chronic sense of helplessness and sadness! At this moment, it is not at all a hopeful outlook!
2 thoughts on “Angst”
Very well said, Hala.
Thank you for summarizing the key issues, some of the causes and our ineptness or unwillingness to tackle the increasingly irreversible problems (climate change, corruption, criminalizing the wretched others) which have become the status-quo for various groups with vested interests and in one conglomerating industry after another (oil and plastic derivatives, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness and unhealthy food, military-industrial complex and their incessant war mongering, surveillance, media BS in search of ratings, harvesting our eyeballs by keeping us hooked/addicted to electronic devices, privatizing and dumbing-down education, medical and insurance, prisons,..). They continue to poison us and our environment, send us to unnecessary wars; build walls to keep the “others” out, or locked-up and working for slave wages at our private prisons; ravage the earth, the air we breathe and our seas; A race to the bottom keeping many in poverty with no chance of earning a living wage, forced to work in sweat shops or at more than one job; shot on sight and blocked from voting; interfere in our personal lifestyle choices.
It seems to be getting worse notwithstanding the right wing think tanks who love to tell us how much better off we are now than in the past. Sure, there have been advances (eradicating diseases, limiting hunger) but we should not measure our quality of life against the distant past but against what we could be doing today.
This is the saddest post I’ve read by you yet! )-;
Hala, you must lift the weight of the world off your shoulders. For starters, try to boycott the news, maybe..Especially the televised kind….start with one day and build your way up. And as you do this, keep track of your emotional state. It breaks my heart to see you so heart-broken over this shitty side of life! There is another side to this story..one that unlike politics and war, is totally in our control!!
“but we should not measure our quality of life against the distant past but against what we could be doing today.”
I love this sentence, Riad! And I fully agree. So how do we do this? Stay present in the moment. Release those terrible thoughts fully and completely, by focusing on breath and the present. The NOW. It’s such a gift! The present moment is the ONLY truth we will ever have.
What Gandhi should have said is “Be the LOVE you want to see in this world,” not “change.” As long as everyone is seeking change, we will have misery. Imagine if everyone was seeking love.
You are a bright light of love, Hala. This little light of yours…. let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! 🙂