Lately I have been doing a fair amount of research for a few articles with environmental themes. And there is something that bothers me about the whole thing. As I was wading through all this technical minutiae, it struck me on how depressing the whole thing is. There are reams upon reams of information on the environment out there; books, websites and blogs from our fellow bloggers and what has struck me like a wicked slap in the face is all this doom and gloom that permeates it all.
I am someone who cares about our world an awful lot. I know there are many of us who do. I am quite passionate about the state of our planet and how we treat it. I seldom can watch the news anymore. It gets me all riled up. I find myself yelling at the screen. Environmental disasters such as oil spills and the like can set me on high simmer. So probably like many others; I have tuned out, I have admittedly buried my head in the sand. A person can only take so much bad news before they shut down.
I recently did a piece on saving the trees. It was mostly hopeful and upbeat. I included some ways on how we all can help our friends the trees. I did a lot of research on the subject and I must admit; it made me depressed.
I like to put a hopeful spin on my writing and in my life in general but at times I have to fight bouts of depression. I suppose many of us creative types do. I have borrowed a page from Winston Churchill; calling it the black dog. This dog is never welcome but from time to time it sits on my front porch and howls a bit. This clouds up my skies with gray and I try to distract myself, writing helps, working in the garden helps…helping others and trying to spread a little cheer around really helps.
Let me tell you, reading through endless reports on the state of our environment does not help. To be fair to my fellow writers out there. I know they work very hard, probably much harder than I. They are learned individuals where I am a self-taught layperson. From what I’ve been reading it is easy to see why your average person who probably cares a lot for the planet is turned off by all this stuff.
I think some writers like to show off their vocabulary and knowledge and perhaps like to play a bit on the sensationalism factor. It is difficult at times to be a reader soaking this up. There are gifted writers of non-fiction out there who makes learning a pleasure; conveying information seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly but those writers are not as common as I like them to be.
I find myself wading through this information just to get to the pertinent information. Like a bowl of oatmeal; it is good for me, but it’s bland. It just sits there like a tasteless lump and it difficult to digest.
I guess that is one of the reasons that I try to write like I do. I could use bigger words. I could try to impress you with my 20 plus years of acquired knowledge but how boring is that? This brings me back to the environmental thing. I was reading some blogs by who I’m sure are very smart well-meaning people but…and I ‘m half joking when I say this….but it made me want to jump off the nearest bridge.
If we are going to save this planet we should know what’s going on. I realize just how important and serious it all is and I am no Pollyanna, although at times I may seem like one. I am a former pessimist turned optimistic realist, emphasis on the optimism.
I talked to MM about my troubles. He is practical where I am not and he usually gives very sound advice. He said: “You do it.” “Do what’? I asked. “You should concentrate your writings on the environment, put a positive spin on it, but be real and get people to listen.” He replied calmly like it was the most simple thing in the world.
What he said made me think and I mulled it over awhile. It reminded me of my life at the moment. Over the past year or so, I’ve been hit with a lot of bad news that has caused me much distress. At first it affected me physically, then emotionally and I fell into a cycle of depression followed by bouts of over-enthusiastic denial steeped in flowery words and platitudes. I believed somehow everything would turn out for the best and I am finding this cycle repeating itself with no clear resolution. I realize this is very much like the problem with our environment; we hear all this bad news and become overwhelmed. Some of us obsess on the bad news, some ignore it and a small portion of us totally deny it. None of this solves anything and here we are hanging on while what good we do have just slips through our fingers.
I think what is needed is to face our problems head on and acknowledge them no matter how ugly and then move on to positive ways to deal with them…always looking at the bright side because there is always a bright side. We need to focus on what is good and what others are doing that is making a difference…but the key here is action.
So in the future look for more environmental pieces from me focusing on the bright side and what we as average citizens can do to help.
On the Sunny side of the street but walking with purpose,
RELATED POSITIVE ARTICLES
5 pieces of good news from planet Earth (motherjones.com)
Good Environmental News (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
Save The Trees (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)
Opinions on Environmental Justice Forum (frsm1000dra.wordpress.com)
Observing, Understanding and Respecting Nature is Imperative of Deep Faith (seriouslyplanning.wordpress.com)