S h o r t   F i c t i o n  /  E s s a y s


Refusing to Buy In
(post 9-11 musings)

After some thought, I've come to the conclusion that the most efficacious response to the current train-wreck spectacle of evil/cruelty/inhumanity in the world is to counter it with personal, positive actions. Reacting in anger/indignation may feel good temporarily (or not), but in the end it does nothing more than heap additional fuel on the fire of negativity. And while remembrance of past good in our lives may be a comfort, it's also expiring currency. Today's purchase of a life worth living--or a world worth living in--comes with the investment of positive action.

It matters not how small that action may be: a kind word to a harried grocery checker; waiting for someone who needs to pull out of a parking space instead of zipping past them; taking the mail--or a flower--to a shut-in neighbor; thanking your mother--or child--for something they bring to your life (so many truly important things tend to remain unsaid.) Each positive action declares, in a palpable way, a position and reality counter to the violence and cruelty that would tear our world apart.

The default reaction to overwhelming evil seems to be to stare, to become paralyzed and hopeless. But ask yourself: what is stopping you right now from being and doing good?

Good is every bit as contagious as evil seems to be. Start a contagion. Or keep one going.

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