I was watching Bill Maher recently and he said what I have been thinking for some time now. That doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it gets my attention. Maybe it’s the months of reflection during this pandemic; maybe it’s the confinement to home; maybe it’s…I don’t know what.
He was talking about awareness and how it seems that every single calendar month is dedicated to several maladies that plague our modern culture. Some are social; some are physical. Some are painfully obvious (like Salt Awareness Week. As Bill Maher said, “Is anyone sitting in a restaurant wondering why they put the cocaine next to the pepper?”). All are devastatingly real and maddeningly depressing. I don’t know about you but they make me feel guilty, sad and helpless.
Politics has become a toxic brew that only those in power seem to have a tolerance for these days. Power has definitely become more important than being of service.
Where we agreed was when Bill Maher was talking about taking a minute to chill out (he said it in a much cruder but seriously effective way…use your imagination or Google it).
Now before you get your knickers in a twist, I am not saying we should ignore all of the illness and disparities that have been laid bare, especially during this pandemic. I am not saying we should go through life blissfully ignorant of injustice and suffering in own little bubbles. And I am definitely not saying that we should give up the fight for equality, justice, a healthy people and planet. We have a lot of work to do to make this world a better place: just, equal, vibrant and welcoming to all living creatures now and in the future. I have worked for social change and healthy living for decades now, happily so. I love my work; I love what I do. I love being of service and making a difference (even if it’s a small one).
I was reading a beautiful article in the New York Times about the success of vaccination against Covid among Native Americans. It was about how they need little convincing to get vaccinated because of three tenets that drive their culture: a concern for what happens seven generations from now; a respect for their ancestors that drive a respect for life and a deep and abiding respect for the planet and keeping it healthy and strong. It was beautiful to read such a positive piece on people caring on a “big picture” level of life. It made me step back and think happy thoughts about the future for a minute.
And so I went back to Bill Maher.
I am not advocating for selective memory; I am saying that sometimes, I just want to chill out for a minute and not feel bad or guilty or helpless. I don’t know about you but I am exhausted by the last year. I am tired of all of it. I know we all are but I have decided to do my part to cheer us all up a bit.
So this month, the month of April, I want to dedicate all of my posts to helping us to do just that. I want us to feel good, have some fun, see the light at the end of this long pandemic tunnel, cook great food, celebrate spring and wellness and…chill out.
We’ll get back to the serious stuff next month, ok?