frustration shows itself in infinite ways, both broadly as in wars and
acts of terrorism, and so subtle that few are aware of them. “Popular”
music is a prime example; up into the latter half of the 20th century,
song lyrics told stories. Some were sad, of course, but very, very few
of them could be said to be angry: fewer still espoused hatred or
literally seethed with anger.
|Friday, April 20, 2018
of the wonders of being human is that while we, among all living
creatures on earth, are aware of the concepts of future and past,
stretching out endlessly before and behind us, we must walk between the
two on the infinitely thin tightrope of "now"...the present.
Impatience is also ingrained in our species, and we too frequently
ignore our past in our hurry to get to the future. To speed up that
which cannot be hurried, we have created technology, which we intended
to serve us but which increasingly controls us. And as technology
encroaches upon our humanity, we become more and more frustrated―and
from frustration comes anger, both personal and societal.
This anger increasingly permeates our entire society, like water
permeates a sponge. What has happened? What has changed us? Why is
everyone so angry? Why am I so angry so much of the time?
The answer is as simple as it is depressing: the less control we see as
having over our own lives, the more helpless we feel, the more
frustrated we become, and frustration shows itself most clearly through
anger. Every time we pick up the phone to try to talk to a human being
who might actually give a damn about us or our problem at some
behemoth, faceless corporation we are reminded in no uncertain terms
just how little power we really have over even something so simple as a
phone call. And who, after sitting there holding the receiver listening
to 10,000 blatant and insultingly condescending repetitions ("Your call
is very important to us"/"Due to unexpectedly heavy traffic"/"Please
stay on the line and your call will be answered by the next available
representative" ) does not get the clear message: "We don't know who
you are, we don't care who you are, we don't care about your pathetic
little problems. All we want from you is your money."
It's difficult―nearly impossible, at times―not to despair. Our
government is at a standstill. Those whose job it supposedly is to
govern our democracy instead devote their energies to throwing
roadblocks in front of any idea, no matter how logical and potentially
beneficial, proposed by the opposition. It is nearly impossible to know
what those running for election or re-election will do if elected, or
how they will go about doing it. Their primary aim is to viciously
attack their opponents.
Standing apart from ourselves―not easy to do―can provide a unique
insight into the relativity of things. What do so many of the things we
become frustrated about really mean, at base, to our lives? In
retrospect, being put on hold for 45 minutes is infuriatingly
frustrating, but, really, what difference does it make in the larger
picture of our day to day life? Well, the answer to that is, again,
that we pass through time from one nanosecond to the other, and while
we're enduring those infuriating on-hold waits or struggling through
the myriads of individual problems which beset us all, there is no way
to escape or avoid them.
Ten years in the past is as close as yesterday afternoon. Ten years in
the future might as well be eternity.
Unhappiness with our current situation is just part of life. Gloom and
doom are common themes throughout history. All evidence to the
contrary, I'd like to think that this is just another segment of the
history-long “phase” we're going through. Despite all the our ranting
and raving and despair for the future, perhaps the single most
fascinating and positive thing about human existence is that we
persevere. We still hope. We still, somewhere under all that
frustration and anger and discouragement, cling to the belief that
things will get better. There is, somewhere in the depths of our soul,
the awareness that no matter how bad things may be at any given minute,
"this, too, shall pass." It is our salvation.
Dorien has a book
of blogs, Short Circuits; A Life in
can be ordered from Untreed
Reads and Amazon;
it is also available as an audio
All those blogs have been republished here. Fortunately, Dorien wrote
many blogs after that book; I will now be publishing those here--as we
consider a volume 2.
blogs are posted Tuesdays and Fridays.