Hand Me the Joystick, Please?

It is the way of things for just about everything to almost constantly be outside of the sphere of my personal influence. All I mean by that eyeful is this: I’m not in control of much. What I do with my life doesn’t have that large an effect on anything other than my immediate surroundings.

You would think I’d be freaking a bit over that revelation, but…I’m not.

There is just so much going on in our great big little world! On the grand scale we have governments battling each other for slivers of power across continents, and corporations elbow-deep in the muck (because, you know, corporations are people too) to scrape every penny possible into their coffers, without ever a wink to the people who form the base that they so casually trample. The very Earth we inhabit is deteriorating as we watch in awe and horror, with far too few making the necessary efforts to repair what we as a species have destroyed terrifically in our tunnel-visioned hurry to get to the next big thing.

Barely a step down, we have class disparity—super rich versus super poor, with hardly a person standing in the middle anymore to provide balance. The have-nots are grasping at the hull of the lifeboat as the haves knock their hands away with poles and sneers of distaste, all the while pushing the have-nots deep into the crushing black depths from which there is no hope of rescue.

Racism, homophobia, gender rights issues, slavery, anti-feminism, suppression of personal freedoms, rape culture, gun-worship, religious zealotry, child abuse, corruption in our governance at all levels, the battle between those who fear changes in the world and those who push for change; each is a bloody blow to the battered body of our basic human rights. Add to that a culture that celebrates ignorance while deprecating open-mindedness, school systems that strive toward mediocrity and general apathy, and it is no wonder that people lose their minds over the inability to control their lives. It is a terrifying prospect when viewed from that perspective.

Thankfully, I don’t share that perspective.

Thankfully, circumstances in my life along with my own particular brand of resilience have brought me to a place within myself that too few are able to find. I have learned to observe and accept the chaos that surrounds me. I see things through clear eyes, without the shade of the hovering monsters that we call ‘the world’ in my periphery. Don’t get me wrong, I care very much about oh so many things that are going on outside of my plastic bubble. However, I know that the little things I do don’t change the world. They only change my world.

I live a small life. A simple life. I wake, parent, feed, read, herd, teach, write, sleep…those are the basic building blocks of my day. I have small worries. What to cook, who has stirred the naughty pot, which child is not following directions, how to pay the bills, what stories to write. I’m content to live my small, simple life.

My small, simple life doesn’t exempt me from doing little important things that will ripple and spread and hopefully bring positive change to the small, simple lives of others.

I’m going to share a quote here with the caveat that I have no desire to incite any kind of political hogwash with this statement. The words simply resonate with me and illustrate my point well.

“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.” ― Robert F. Kennedy

In the ways I know for certain that I’m able, I exert control over my sphere of influence. I strive to combat the ugliness of the world at large by instilling kindness and respect for all in my children. I hope to bring wonder and joy to people with the words I write in my fiction (well, because wizards and tree pirates, I mean, come on!). I make a point to encourage those I care about to express themselves openly and positively, and with much humor. I attempt to interact with everyone I know in an affectionate, charitable way that ennobles everyone.

If you haven’t yet gotten the impression that I’m a bit unconventional, let me break it to you easily here; I am. That grand Baz Luhrmann flick that goes on and on about Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love? Oh yeah, I’m all about that stuff. I kinda like the music a ton, too.

On that note, please take the time to watch this video. I’m not advertising for it, but I do think it is worth your time. And don’t hesitate to drop a comment if you have any input.