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Working hard to keep my sanity intact

I Am Wide Awake

Well, I know I wasn’t born just yesterday and I am not a kid anymore. And through my life I have learned a thing or two about what life is about. I learned very early on that life is not a child’s playground and social turmoil, civil war, mass shootings and wars are commonplace in our daily lives.

It’s amazing how life prepares us for the worst, whether it is another tornado or civic unrest. And interestingly we have come to accept that fighting to liberate your country against occupation or fighting against a dictatorial regime and oppression is a valid form of establishing freedom and justice. But, I never thought that I would ever see and witness unruly events that shook my world and understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong. It has been quite some time now but the memory of that mob of supporters of the former President attacking their own country’s most revered Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., still puzzles me.

And then, just before the midterm elections, we all heard on the news that, shall we say, a madman smashed through the windows of the private house of the Speaker Of The House, trying to settle whatever political disagreement or grievances he might’ve had. My first reaction when I heard the news is, why this man could not find a proper and civilized approach to express his dissatisfaction with  the Speaker. If he was so much concerned about the policies of the Speaker, why didn’t he write an article, perhaps become an activist and inspire others to stand up with him to change the policies he finds objectionable? Instead, this intruder decided that the only tool he needed to make his political point of view crystal clear was nothing other than the most accessible tool around his house: a hammer!

How I wish that this man, who actually confessed to the investigating officers that his intention was to break the kneecaps of the Speaker, had been raised with proper education where he would have learned how to articulate his objections and political views effectively and with a sensibility without causing physical pain and anguish. But unfortunately we are living in times when most of the time the knowledge and the information delivered to our ears are so convoluted that it is virtually impossible to get a clear picture out of the events that take place around us.

Just listen to the news. Whether we watch the late night news on TV, or hear on the radio and all those podcasts that deliver and discuss the news and the events around us, each has their own turns and twists. Together, they produce a mishmash of news that makes it impossible to obtain any clear version of the same story discussed on various channels. As serious a crime as a mass shooting of school children is cynically distorted and manipulated. Which makes me question my sanity and shakes my confidence when I ask myself if there’s any truth in that vaccination for COVID is an effort by the government to track down our every move and our minds. And so on and so on.

Now you understand that in this kind of corrupt environment it’s very easy to lose our basic common sense and sanity. And that’s because the threshold between what is right and what is wrong, what’s true and what’s a lie, what is real and what are artificially made up stories makes the news we hear very frivolous and untrustworthy. And even the news that somebody broke into the Speaker’s house with a hammer with the hurtful intention of crushing her kneecaps is turned into a subject for ridicule and mockery.

Now it seems that our battle is not about liberating a country against intruders or fighting against dictators. This is about simply maintaining our sanity. It’s about having the wisdom and the intelligence to remain calm and not be overwhelmed by the storms of misinformation floating around us.

Our battle is about keeping our sanity intact. And that seems easier said than done.

All I can say is, Good Luck!

Varoujan Froundjian is a digital artist and writer. He can be reached at: varlink3050@gmail.com.

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