Sitting in the barber shop today, I was randomly thumbing through a magazine when a quote came flying off the page like a paintball and splattered itself all over my brain. At the very least you would think it could have gotten my memory going again (I don't know where it is these days), but no, here I am, forced to paraphrase: "A lot of people are on to the emptiness; it takes real guts to acknowledge the hopelessness." My barber was still working on the head of a four-year old, so I allowed myself to ponder.
What does it mean to be courageous in these trying times? Does it take courage to admit we are living in a hopeless world? Are we lying to ourselves when we claim the world can be a better place? Here we are into the 21st century, at the pinnacle of scientific and technological advancement, and yet according to the World Bank, half the world's population, 3 billion people, are forced to subsist on less than $3 a day. The Ivy-League banking brains on Wall Street found a way to trash the world's financial systems, and yet, they couldn't find a way to simply clear away the garbage that rots in mounds in the slums of Mumbai and Nairobi.
I am trying hard not to be cynical, not to be negative. I guess it doesn't help that the HIV clinic I have been going to for the past five years told me I couldn't come anymore because they've lost a lot of their funding on account of the financial crisis. We're bailing out the banks and the insurance companies and the automakers to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, but I can't see my doctor anymore. Will someone please tell me that this calculates correctly? That this all somehow makes sense? I can't make sense of this world anymore. I'd hate to think it took me this long to figure out that it's not supposed to.