Thoughts on the World Right Now and Hope

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22 million without jobs. It’s hard to even imagine what that really means.

They say things haven’t been this bad since the Great Depression and they say that there’s a chance that things might get that bad again soon. 

It’s hard not to worry and wonder: Could this be the end of an era? Could this be the end of our economy as we know it? I never was very good at understanding any of that stuff when it was working so I guess I can’t really speculate on it now. I’ll listen to the experts but if those are the same experts who told me it would rain yesterday and then I woke up to 80 degree sunshine I guess I just can’t really say I’m that convinced.

They say things are worse than ever but that they are optimistic. Not really sure what that means either. I guess I never really got optimism well anyway. Things could recover and flip back and reset just as quickly as the switch flipped but it’s hard to imagine that. It seems like it’s always harder to put stuff back in the box than to take it out.

I don’t want to be the one to say things could really get bad and they already are but I might as well say it because most people don’t want to and no one listens to me anyway. Maybe problems like this could have been avoided if people could drop the whole optimism thing for a while in the first place. I saw a clip of Obama from 2012 saying experts predicted something like COVID-19 awhile ago but I guess no one wanted to think about it or maybe there was nothing we could do even if we did.

But what can we do about any of it? Positive thinking? That always kind of stressed me out. They say if you’re in control of your mind then you’re in control of your life but I guess they had a good job when they said that. Or maybe it was their job to say that. I think most people just tell people what to do because they don’t have anything better to say.

There is still hope though, more than there ever was I think in a time like this. It’s through this window which I’m writing now where we can all see each other and wave a bit. We don’t have to be completely alone anymore, at least not yet. The way I see it is that’s either a really good thing or a whole other crisis in itself.

Here’s a poem from a writer that I like and you probably don’t that might make us feel a little stronger in these times.

How Is Your Heart?
By Charles Bukowski

during my worst times
on the park benches
in the jails
or living with
whores
I always had this certain
contentment-
I wouldn't call it
happiness-
it was more of an inner
balance
that settled for
whatever was occurring
and it helped in the
factories
and when relationships
went wrong
with the
girls.
it helped
through the
wars and the
hangovers
the back alley fights
the
hospitals.
to awaken in a cheap room
in a strange city and
pull up the shade-
this was the craziest kind of
contentment
and to walk across the floor
to an old dresser with a
cracked mirror-
see myself, ugly,
grinning at it all.
what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire.

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References:

Charles Bukowski. You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense. 1986. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38504.You_Get_So_Alone_at_Times_That_it_Just_Makes_Sense

Alan Rappeport and Jeanna Smialek. “I.M.F. Predicts Worst Downturn Since the Great Depression.” The New York Times. 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/us/politics/coronavirus-economy-recession-depression.html?searchResultPosition=1

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