A Really Inconvenient Truth

A few years ago, when I was maybe seven or eight, I watched part of An Inconvenient Truth, but I didn’t finish it because, in an attempt to save the earth, I turned off the television, shut off all the lights in the house, sat down at the kitchen table, and played with clay for a few hours. It’s happened a couple of times when I’ve watched documentaries–or segments of them–become seized with fear, and suddenly very strongly considered becoming a shut-in.

Mostly, these incidents occurred when I was younger; now I have a better handle on myself and can endure the realization and understanding that the world has some pretty crummy things in it, there are lots of problems all over the place, and there is very little I can do about it on a scale greater than that of one individual. Yes, when I think about it, the world does end up scaring me, but humans are good at shutting out those intrusive thoughts about problems and focusing on the pleasant things, the fun little distractions. I am not saying that they are superficial, but often their primary job is to deaden the terror.

It’s convenient the way our minds work. We store information selectively, we have passions, brief obsessions, and we have cycles. We change if we accumulate enough experience, and we try to change even if we don’t. Humans are very complex (you probably already knew that), and we are fascinating (or maybe I’m a Martian and I should be saying “you”).

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