We’re Going Places

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Ability News, Canberra

There are two ways of reacting to any news. The obvious thing to do is attempt to process what’s happened and judge it: good or bad. What’s unfortunate about this is it forces you to make decisions. You end up obsessing about the bad and bringing whatever’s happened into your home. But you can do something else: make a positive choice to leave the bad news outside.

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That doesn’t mean you ignore it. Whatever’s happened is still there. The difference is in the way you process events – you’re understanding them, recognising them, but then putting them away. They don’t have to live with you. You’re bigger than that. 

This might be helpful if you happened to be highly invested in the recent referendum. 

It’s not the only way of dealing with things, of course, but whatever result you hoped for it’s worthwhile remembering that perhaps really, not that much has changed. 

We need to be aware of what’s going on around us. What’s important, however, is not to become overwhelmed. It’s often best to relegate anything that can’t be changed to the background while we live our lives changing what we can around us. This choice isn’t about ignoring reality, it’s rather about deciding how we choose to intersect with a world that’s already spun wildly out of control. 

Pick your crisis. 

In the Middle East today, deadly rockets are flashing across the sky before suddenly crashing to the ground and exploding in hospital corridors and living rooms. In Afghanistan everyone is living under a vision of fundamentalist Islam that is foreign to even Saudis. In East Africa people are starving, and the world is having its hottest and driest northern summer for thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of years. 

Browsing the internet the other day I came across an email offering journalists ‘resources for complex assignments and challenging times’. 


Sitting in front of a computer? 

No. We may be angry, and we may believe the world should be different. That’s not the same as facing existential problems. Unfortunately it’s far too easy to forget this in the hyped-up, instant judgement, media-obsessed world in which we live. 

We need to understand what does, and what doesn’t, affect us. Understanding this difference is vital, because the world is an increasingly complex and violent place. 

The key point is to work out what comes next, grappling with the world as it is. Then we need to decide: what can we do to change the world for the better? 

We are not mourning the referendum result – we are getting out and doing what we can to make lives better.