I have a habit of taking life too seriously sometimes, a fact I was awakened to in a heart-to-heart with a dear artist friend of mine.
You can’t blame me, really. I take this writing thing seriously. I know it requires a lot of hard work, a bit of emotional stress, and (hopefully not for too long) a serious lack of money. I also take this life thing seriously, knowing there’s a lot of big, bad issues in the world, and there’s not a lot I can do about most of them in “my sad little blip of an existence” (thank you, Douglas Adams, who also gave the sage advice: “Don’t Panic”).
But therein lies the answer. On a cosmic scale (a scale in which the 13.8 billion year lifetime of the universe is mapped onto a single year, Wikipedia) my lifetime is but a blink of the eye, and these global issues are at least a day or two old.
Can I really expect to make a difference?(On a side note, if you’re interested in global issues, you should read Baker’s “Mr Something”)
Well, yes and no. In my blink-of-the-eyes lifetime, I can expect to make a wink-of-an-eye difference in the world. I cannot expect to make a day’s difference, or even a Home and Away Omnibus’s difference, but I can hope that if we all make a wink-of-an-eye difference, we can achieve at least an episode of Friends’ difference together.
When we take life too seriously, it becomes hard to manage. When we remember that we have but a blip of an existence in the world, we realise that instead of obsessing over the big problems we can’t solve, we should tackle what we can. Start with one little positive step, and celebrate it. It may not solve global poverty, but if it made a difference to one person, it’s a victory in itself.