Friday, 25 July 2014

The blogger’s dilemma

I’m finding myself in a state of semi-paralysis with my blogging lately. But I know why.

There’s so much news going on in the world right now – and most of it is bad.
No, not bad. It’s awful. It’s horrible. It’s terrible beyond words.

Bombs and rockets being traded between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. The innocence, limbs, sight and lives of children being ripped away by terror raining from the skies.
A passenger airline seemingly shot down near the Ukraine-Russia border.
Reports from Iraq that all women and girls over 11 in Mosul have been ordered to undergo female genital mutilation.
The continuing ordeal of Syrians fleeing the fighting in their own country.
Kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria still not found and returned to their families.
The daily depressing grind of the Greek economic reality as experienced by ordinary people, rather than politicians trumpeting fanfares of optimism based on data only visible from comfortable ministry offices.
Climate change, earthquakes, flooding, overpopulation... the list goes on.

Reality bites, that’s for sure.

I generally don’t blog about such grave matters, but it worries me that this might make me seem shallow, frivolous, uninformed or uncaring. 
I do care. Desperately. I just don’t know what to say about the state of a world that seems to be teetering on the edge of madness.

The main reason I don’t post about such weighty matters is the fact that the internet is already awash with people ranting and pouring out platitudes about the shocking events that bombard us from our screens. I don’t feel that me diving in and splashing about with the sharks, minnows and life rafts in that ocean of online noise would serve any useful purpose. 
Of course the news invokes an emotional response in me. Of course I’m outraged, saddened, sickened to my core. But do I have a solution? No. So, what possible positive contribution can I make by wearing my heart on my online sleeve?

Another reason is my awareness that the issues behind the simple, stark, horrible human cost that hits the headlines are incredibly complex. I don’t have all the information at hand to be able to play the pundit. Of course, innocent citizens being targeted is undeniably an outrage – but shouldn’t I have a full grip on the reasons behind it before I climb up onto my cyber soap box? 
There are more than enough people out there writing about the reality and the reasons behind it, including some frontline reporters of incredible courage, integrity and heart. My tuppence ha’penny’s worth would add nothing of value.

There’s another reason too. And it’s entirely selfish. But it's essential to maintain my equilibrium. 
Though fortunate enough never to have faced any major mental or emotional health issues, I simply cannot spend my days focusing on the horrors of the earth – whether they’re on another continent, a few hundred miles away or next door. I’m a pretty positive person (tempered with what I consider a healthy dose of cynicism/rationalism) and I try to focus on the good things in life rather than settling into a sulk at the state of the world whilst doing nothing about it.

That doesn’t mean I don’t worry about paying my bills, if we’ll be able to fund our son’s further education or if neo-Nazis will rise to a position of power and drag us by the hair back into the inhumanity of an age from which we are supposed to have moved on from. 
Believe me, I care. With a passion (anyone who's seen me climb up on my high horse and launch into full soap box mode can vouch for that).

I just feel that we owe it to ourselves to appreciate the good things in our lives: the support of family and friends; a good belly laugh at something ineffably silly; the music of words well written; a hug; the kick of a really well-brewed cup of coffee; a cat’s purr; the kindness of strangers; a child’s laugh; the clink of teaspoon against cup; the glorious silence of sunrise in the country; the power of music; the velvety orgasm of chocolate melting on your tongue; nature’s summer symphony; the cold kiss of the sea when you slide in after a sweaty day’s work…

There’s a lot wrong with our world, but there’s also still a lot of good things to enjoy. Accentuating the light side won’t make the dark go away, but maybe it can give us the courage to really do something about the source of that darkness rather than letting it drag us down into depression?

So next time you heave a sigh at my latest fatuous post about cats, cellulite or cake, you'll know why.


  1. Seems we do have a lot in common :) beautiful article!

  2. You write this as a positive person, and I agree with all you say....sadly I am a real negative nelly and do struggle to live in the moment and focus on the good..but I try - I really try. So this piece was well written and good to read....and amen to increasing the peace.

  3. Positive vibes!Well done!

  4. I'm the same, I don't blog about the terrible things going on in the world for the same reasons. I understand, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

  5. I try and keep all the bad news at arm's length too otherwise it has an impact on my mind. I'm generally pessimistic about the future whilest trying to keep positive day to day, if that makes sense...

  6. I appreciate your post! Not because it's pulling back to the bright side and the cup of tea - though I love that too :-) - but because I don't think we do say, or write enough about the other topics!
    It's not enough that there are newsrooms reeling off print about what's happening in the world. The compassion of 'normal' people DOES count for something. And the more we talk about it, the more others talk about it, the more we stop accepting it, the more - when we have the chance - we do something about it :-)

  7. I'm hosting #brilliantblogposts, for Vicky @honestmum today! Would love to see you there :-)