A Gift To Me

I gave myself a gift this month.

I’ve reached the age where I can look back now on a few decades of cultural evolution … some good – some bad. But I understand better these days, why my parents and grandparents feared that “the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket.”

Too much of what I see and hear on social media and on TV news is so incredibly hard on my soul these days. I’ve known most of my life that there are scary people out there. but the internet has revealed that there are a lot more of them than I ever imagined. It’s a little scary: the hate, the gun violence, the bigotry the injustice. It can all be overwhelming and there’s no relief to be found in much of the tabloid style news telling that permeates the internet and the airwaves.
So what’s a person to do when the neigbourhood dog keeps doing it’s business in your yard? Well, this guy has been busy building a few fences recently.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media and the internet in general. There are definitely some wonderful things to be found: encouraging quotes and pictures, recipes, music, art, inspirational and informative articles and I love seeing what my friends are up too through their posts of special events and people in their lives … but I’ve also found a little too much of the “other” stuff; The anger, the fighting about nothing, the hate, the melodrama.

So I’m tying to walk away from that stuff and be more careful with social media consumption. I’m staying away from Messenger, trying to not read comment sections on contentious posts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. And a big one for me is being aware of getting sucked into the chaotic, melodramatic, mental health shattering engines of some of the bigger news outlets.

I don’t think there’s a perfect system other than to just try to be a little more discerning with who and what I follow, not entering into contentious and most often anonymous debates and definitely not biting on click bait (those posts designed to arouse your curiosity) If you see a question on the internet and there are a million responses, don’t be fooled into thinking anyone actually cares what you think. Delete, report or just move on. It’s different if it’s a friend but there are far too many pages just looking to get your name and information.

So that got a little rambly … What I’m really saying is that this year, I gave myself the gift of peace for Christmas by curating my use of social media a little more carefully. It may turn out to be my favourite gift this year.

And with that, I will leave you with a few images from the past few weeks and wish you the merriest of Christmases. May you find purpose, peace and love in 2023.

“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” ~ David Bowie

“How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.”
~ Matt Haig  (Reasons to Stay Alive, 2015)

“Life doesn’t always get better.
But you do. You get stronger.
You get wiser. You get softer.
With tattered wings you rise.
And the world watches in wonder
at the breathless beauty of
a human who survived life.”
~ L.R. Knost

“For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” ~ Carl Sagan

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
~ Agatha Christie

I’d love to be friends with you on Facebook or Instagram at phil_main

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