Make This World a Better Place

Grimsel Pass, Obergoms, Switzerland

It’s Wednesday.

How many times this week have you looked at social media, or the television, or listened to the radio and wanted to cover your ears and scream “make it stop?”

Last week, Virginia Republicans nominated a most controversial candidate to run for U.S. Senate. I won’t promote him here. But, like I told you long ago about Donald Trump, I won’t vote for him either.

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In other news, I may in the future still vote for a Republican candidate but, whilst I have’t called myself a Republican for along time, I now know that I never will again.

I had a friend, with whom along with others, I spent a good amount of time in the mid-2000s writing, and blogging in the Virginia Blogosphere. We got lots of attention and we made a huge impact.

But, that sort of fizzled, for many reasons.

Not the least of which is how many of us became disillusioned with the whole political process.

I’ve written about that before.

I’m just not playing the game any more. I can’t defend the indefensible.

Even when there are times, and there are quite a few, that I agree with the President, I just can’t jump on the Trump bandwagon.

And, even though I’d like to see the current Senator retired, I can’t support this other guy. There’s an alternative, but I need to learn more before I make the decision to, as I did in 2016, vote third party.

But that’s not what I intended to write about.

I used to think that my writing and my activism would make a difference, that it would have an impact.

It really didn’t. That’s another reason I left it behind.

See, my thought is that I can make this world a better place in a different way.

So, I’m spending my time creating art, and theatre, and writing.

Most of the time these days it’s theatre.

I readily admit that I’m not really one to pursue “meaningful” theatre. I’d rather entertain, and be entertained.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some incredible work going on out there. And it’s important work. I’m just not sure that I’m the one to direct it.

(yet)

But the lighter stuff, the silly stuff, the fluffier stuff, is also important because we all need to laugh.

Look, there’s a lot of ugly in this world. We’re not going to change that overnight. We may not change it at all. We live in a broken world.

But if through theatre, or art, or writing, I can make this world a little happier and maybe push aside some of the darkness, well then, that’s just enough for me.

Still, there are days when I look at the news and thing “I have to do something.” But in reality, other than changing my profile picture on Facebook, what can I do? I don’t trust politicians to listen whether I call them or not…reality is I just don’t trust them at all.

Don’t get me wrong, even without political party affiliation, that doesn’t stop me from trying to change things in the ballot box.

It’s just that, on a day to day basis, the best I can do is to work to make the world around me a little brighter.

If we all did that…well…then perhaps we’d get somewhere.

But, let’s be clear. It’s more than forwarding that Facebook message.

Your means of making the world a better place will be different than mine, as it should be.

We don’t have to start a movement.

We just have to be moved…and then move.

In other news, American singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor, Lionel Richie, was born on this day in 1949.




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Read Into This What You Will

Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.

English pastor and author, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, often referred to as the “Prince of Preachers” was born on this day in 1834 (died 1892).

Sometimes I feel silly saying that I need to read more.

I mean, I read all the time.

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I read emails.

I read Facebook posts.

I read news articles…sometimes I even click on the link and read the whole article if it’s not sequestered away behind some paywall.

Note to newspapers, even local ones, I stopped buying your print version because it wasn’t worth the price of the subscription. I will not be paying to read your “news” online.

I digress.

But is any of this really serious reading?

Don’t get me wrong. I currently am in the middle of at least two books, maybe more by the time this is actually published.

And, I’m trying to read through The Bard and the Bible, as well as selected scriptures. Currently I’m spending time in the Psalms.

And yet, I still feel like I need to read more.

Sometimes I feel like I spent some time in, mostly my thirties and forties, when I didn’t take reading very seriously.

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t serious in high school or college either, but who can remember back that far?

I wrote yesterday about making adjustments. It’s currently hard for me to make adjustments to find more reading time.

No, it’s not impossible. Just difficult.

I have one book that I keep in the…um…library…and currently I have one book on tape. But finding time to read at other times during the day? It’s a challenge.

I don’t watch TV unless I’ve got a show on in the background while I’m writing or designing. So, it’s not like I can turn the television off to find more time to read.

I’ve tried reading in bed. I can generally get through two, maybe four pages, before my eyelids won’t stay up anymore.

So, it’s not easy. But I keep trying.

See, the older I get, the more I realize how much I really don’t know.

I mean, not necessarily about life in general, but about history, and people, and art, and literature, and music, and religion…and…well…lots of stuff.

I try to read. I try to learn as much as I can.

I know that, as a writer, reading is as important as anything else that I do. Maybe more important.

So, in addition to everything else I cram into my messenger bag, iPad, the Moleskine, the script(s), the writing project notebook, the sketch pad, the markers, assorted chargers, and yes, even a toothbrush, I try to find space to include a book.

Choices are difficult. It needs to be small enough to fit in what’s not a whole lot of room left in the messenger bag. And it needs to be something I can read a few pages at a time. That means that it’s difficult to carry a library book because of that pesky “due by” date.

But, I’ll keep reading. I set my reading goal on Goodreads to read at least fifty books this year. I’m a little more than halfway there.

Surely you’ve been around here long enough to know the types of things I like to read. Give me some reading suggestions in the comments.

In other news, American bluegrass singer-songwriter, guitarist, and mandolin player, Lester Flatt, was born on this day in 1914 (died 1979).




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