I wake up every morning outraged by the ways of the world. Good people contract bad diseases and die. Crooks live long and prosperous lives. Hard working people hold down two jobs and barely make ends meet. Bizarre hedge fund transactions enable others to amass obscene amounts of money with little effort. Innocent children die from random gun shots. What kind of world is this? There’s more.
I am outraged by those who refute climate change despite all scientific evidence to the contrary.
I am outraged by our lack of progress regarding gun control laws and the banning of assault weapons.
I am outraged when children are denied a decent education.
I am outraged by the fact that Ford and Boeing knew about problems in their respective vehicles but did nothing about them, causing innocent people to die.
I am outraged by how little progress we have made in conquering the disease of addiction.
I am outraged by the inhumane conditions at the migrant holding facilities.
I am outraged by how long it takes to stop or prosecute those who sexually abuse others and by the humiliation the victims sometimes face.
I am outraged by frauds such as Jeffrey Epstein who amass millions of dollars by using unscrupulous methods and developing nefarious ways to hide their ill-begotten financial treasure.
I am outraged that Congress has done virtually nothing about past and on-going Russian interference in U.S. elections.
I am outraged by companies that put weird chemicals in food, fertilizers, and weed killers which cause cancer and other diseases.
I’m outraged by the endless rationalizations and hypocrisy of the religious right in supporting positions and statements that are the antithesis of what they say they believe.
If you think about all this too much, it can destroy you. It can prevent you from sleeping. It can make you so angry that normal conversations with friends become impossible. What can you do?
My advice: Don’t give up hope. Work hard to be a good friend. Such friendships remind us that decency can survive despite the rest of the world going south. Engage in civil dialogue whenever possible. Appeal to basic human decency and kindness. Search for signs of hope. Keep an open mind, treating everyone with dignity and respect. Make your own individual efforts to make the world a better place—work at a soup kitchen, sign up for Habitat for Humanity, mentor or coach a student.
Also think about Wordsworth’s sonnet, “The World Is Too Much With Us” and from time to time disengage from society’s incessant noise and seek beauty in nature, music, and literature.
Among the actions I am taking is the writing of this editorial. I am hopeful that by cataloging some things that trouble me, others also may be prompted to speak up and take their own actions to make things better. Many effective groups have mobilized to address these troublesome issues. Become involved. Take a stand. Make a case.
We live in dark times. But remember the sun also rises and it is darkest before the dawn.
Maria Grant served as principal-in-charge of the Federal Human Capital practice with Deloitte Consulting where she advised several Federal agencies and major private sector corporations throughout the U.S. Since her retirement from Deloitte, she has focused on reading, writing, music, travel, gardening and nature. She cherishes the hummingbirds that gather daily just outside her screened porch overlooking Island Creek.