Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Morning at 3.00 AM...

So what in the name of Ghod am I doing up at 3.00 AM, writing blog posts?

It's simple really. I've been sleeping more than usual. Whatever my body was doing, I went with it and now I am awake, feeling physically better than I have in some time. Who knows? I'm just here for the ride. I must have had a fever because it broke before I knew I had it.

And at this hour, there's not much to do but sit here quietly and read email. I am signed up on several email lists through Yahoo, the ones where people write in about a variety of things. The list that has been producing the majority of the messages is not a topical list. It's a free-for-all and people write about anything that grabs their attention in the moment except of course, the things that matter.

The majority of it seems to be about daily troubles of one nature or another. Personally, I find it very hard to respond to such things because open bids for sympathy are rather unseemly. There's a big difference between seeking collective wisdom and seeking sympathy. There's also a big difference between working something through and mindless bitching. Working it through and seeking wisdom is a participation exercise. We all get to be involved, to think about the situation and come up with meaningful responses.

The lists are overwhelmingly the latter. People natter on about every petty thing that might go wrong in their daily lives. And somehow, they manage to make it sound tragic.

This got me to thinking ~ which is rather unseemly itself at 3.00 AM but natural inclinations prevail once again.

To me, "tragedy" is a child who lives in a home where the parents are drunks or drug addicts who burn them with cigarettes. Tragedy is thousands of young men and women being killed in a war that has no purpose beyond protecting the business interests of greedy men and women who want to insure their continued wealth. Tragedy is people who are forced to live and work in inhuman conditions because they don't have the power to rise up against their oppressors. Tragedy is not having clean drinking water. Tragedy is a life wasted because someone committed the unpardonable sin of being born poor.

It wouldn't occur to me to engage in the kind of mindless griping that takes place on these mailing lists of privileged, mostly white, middle-class suburbanites with whiz-bang computer systems in their climate-controlled dens. I'm familiar with it. I grew up surrounded by the 90210 mentality that demands pats on the head and recompense for the most minor inconveniences.

It strikes me as self-indulgent and silly. It's taking every ounce of self-restraint to not reply to these messages with a copy of this blog post.

What say you?




Anonymous said...

I plead guilty. But at least I know it.

What's that picture? It would make a lovely scarf.

Heather said...

Go for it! Seems they could use a dose of reality.

Bob said...

I guess that kids today do seem to be self-indulgent - as did we to our parent's generation I suspect. It also may be the nature of the medium. A good many people use blogs or chat forums to gripe and get things off of their chest. Something you might have chatted to your best friend over the backyard fence or over a beer. Small, inconsequential stuff that doesn't add up to much when stacked up against third world poverty or child abuse, but still stuff that gets stuck in your craw unless you gripe it out to someone.

I don't use my blog that way - usually - and I don't have the time to chat or email much, so I either deal with it myself or rant at my wife for a moment or two and then it's over & done with.

inconsequential noise, I agree, but not everyone is after the answers to life, the universe, and everything - they just want to rant about that jerk driver who cut them off today. I don't read or respond to stuff like that because it has no relevance to me nor saying "uh huh" over the internet doesn't work like it does across from each other at the local pub.

MsLittlePea said...

Sounds like stuff you'll hear people talk about with friends over coffee and it's good to get it out. I'm pretty sure most people know that their 'misery' is not at all comparable to everything else going on in the world. Right? I hope so. I agree, it does get annoying and I, too, self indulge and allow myself to whine here and there-I'll admit it!

I liked the clothes by the way-very comfortable looking and feminine without the frill.

Pam said...

In the face of the bigger picture the little things people rag about seem foolish, true, but day to day life, for most, is full if minor upsets that need an ocassional venting to relieve stress. And sometimes the stress of a major situation comes out as aggravation over the inconsequential.

I don't believe that constant complaining is good, not at all, but keeping everything bottled up all the time can be hurtful, too.

Ginnie said...

I agree with you, Chani. I have little patience with the "poor me" syndrome and almost all of it comes from self-absorbtion. I do also agree that the little day to day upsets should be aired...just not to me, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree that a blog about having bronchitis or which camera to purchase is of no interest at all, "inconsequential noise", as Bob says...
To me, blogging is interesting for the readers when one shares interesting ideas, and overall, when it is well written. To me, the style is the most important.

jen said...

This is pure money: There's also a big difference between working something through and mindless bitching.

Amen. One question: why subscribe to them at all?

Otherwise, I think you'll continue to be the voice of reason you are, inspiring others with your being.

Lucia said...

For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to think that life is just made up of good and peachy things, and that something is wrong or unusual when they hit bumps and that they're tragedies. Where does this come from?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think that people should be free to vent, gripe, or otherwise "share" the incidents in their lives that affect them. And we are equally free not to read their blogs.

Most people in our society are self-absorbed, and have no idea of what real hardship is; to them, it is different versions of not getting what they wanted.

I agree totally with the examples you gave of "real" tragedies, but I suspect that few of the people you have in mind would be interested in deepening their understanding. Self-gratification and whining are the order of the day, and I doubt that will change anytime soon.

It's merely another opportunity to be grateful that we are different. Remember the Purple Cow:

"I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But this I will say, anyhow -
I'd rather see than be one."

The Atavist said...

I say that I agree with you. Carping about stuff isn't inherently bad, at least if it is clear that you don't expect anyone else to do something about it, but it is indeed unseemly.

Penny said...

I agree with your definition of tragedy. I have been guilty of self-pity. When I feel like that, I usually reread one of my books on the Holocaust. But, I haven't had time, lately. Thank you for reaffirming what I already know and occassionally forget, because it's easy when one is having a little bout of self-pity..

There are many blessings to be counted.

Love to you, Thailand Gal!