Wednesday, July 9, 2014
uplift and downdraft
Lord knows there is something uplifting about uplifting stories and lord knows I have squirreled them away like nuts against the coming winter of whatever sort.
From nudges to tapestries, uplifting stories and events float and inspire and fill in thorny negative spaces with soft possibility.
For example, yesterday, a friend sent along a video clip about sharing pizza -- a little tale that rose above the grey grasping and self-involved activities below. The clip is titled "60 Seconds That Will Change How You Think." It was touching in one sense.
I also found it, as I increasingly do with uplifting stories, vaguely depressing. First of all, any sixty seconds will change the way you think and second, in order to be lifted up, there is the implication that you are lifted up above something without which the "uplift" would lose its meaning. Ergo, by offering up the good news, there is an underscoring of the bad news ... the good news is ipso facto the bad news.
And beyond that, there is the empirical fact that there is some wondrous stuff in life and some positively shitty stuff and that mentioning either detracts from the richness that each has to offer. Anyone might want the good news and be averse to the bad news, but that doesn't seem to put a dent in the flow of good news and bad.
Yes, I know there are a hundred tender-hearted reasons for uplifting pointers. The confusing of compassion with uplift exists in this realm. It feeeeeels good, ergo it is good. But ... but ... but ....
Sometimes a voice erupts unbidden within: "Give it a rest, for Christ's sake!" Enlightenment, emptiness, true nature, compassion, heaven, hell, sharing pizza .... do it or don't do it, but quit insisting on uplift.
PS. I'll save the uplifting wags some key strokes: "Very uplifting!"