This is something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a long time, and interestingly, there has been a sort of convergence lately that finally forces my hand. I think this will make a good end/beginning of year topic, fulfilling the role my post on living without fear had last year.
I feel that this post should have more disclaimers than an Alli ad. Keep the following things in mind as you read on:
Every man is ultimately responsible for his own actions.
It is helpful to point out societal problems.
Everyone has their own style, and all styles are useful.
Now, clear your mind and be willing to challenge yourself.
One of the most intriguing characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Ringswas Grima, who was sometimes called Grima Wormtongue. Now, to refresh your memory, Grima, son of Galmod, was advisor to King Theoden, but also in league with the evil wizard Saruman. His task was to weaken Theoden through lies and persuasion.
Grima’s methods are many times misunderstood. Yes, he told lies, but he wisely kept outright deceptions to a minimum. Instead, he told half-truths, and played to Theoden’s weakness and fear. He gave the king a constant drip, drip, drip of cants and why bothers and most importantly, painted a general picture of hopelessness. This had the desired effect.
Now, I want to say this: poverty is sad. Discouragement, however, is heartbreaking.
Let me say, I know you , my fellow blogger, are a good person. You mean well, and wish to help your fellow man. But you must ask yourself: am I a modern day Grima Wormtongue? Believe me, you might not can see it, but I do. Many of you provide a constant drip, drip, drip of everything that’s wrong with the world. Most likely, you do this because you seek a particular political or religious solution to a very real set of societal problems.
Look at your posts and comments from this past year. Be honest with yourself. Many of you send these messages to the poor downtrodden, and discriminated against:
As things stand now, it is hopeless for you.
The deck is stacked against you.
We have arranged our society so that you will always be poor or downtrodden, or those discriminated against.
You are not extraordinary. Only the extraordinary can rise above tough circumstances.
Others are the ones responsible for your condition.
You can’t. You can’t. You can’t.
Drip, drip,drip. And then, one of the downtrodden himself gives reason after reason for not even trying, and his reasons sound vaguely familiar, almost as if they were spoon-fed to him over the course of many years. Almost as if they were whispered in his ear by someone who only wanted to help.
We do this, especially we bloggers. We can do better.
How about, instead, we begin to look at each and every person as extraordinary? How about not discouraging dreams, but nourishing the spark that lies within us all? What would the world look like if we weren’t constantly whispering into each others’ ears how hopeless things are? What if we became a source of encouragement and energy?
Reagan saw the shining city on the hill, Kennedy sought do do things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, Martin Luther King saw the other side of the mountain. These men did not shirk from problems, but they sought to solve them by harnessing the fire within us all.
Ask yourself: in this new year, are you going to inspire, or are you going to discourage?