sometimes i catch myself wondering where the balance lies in our information-rich tech world between knowing to know, knowing to remind yourself of a purpose, and knowing to demoralize.
i find myself reading blogs, books, and news articles that remind me constantly of the negativity that surrounds me and people with whom i try my best to be in solidarity on a regular basis. i read blog posts that "reveal" the negative acts, then i often subject myself to reading the nasty comments that accompany them. and sometimes, all i can feel is down. like, seeing all the negativity of people manifested in ignorant comments or pantomimes or articles is just more than i need. because i already know it's there. i have the facts in front of me. much of my college education showed me where it all lies. and, being of color, i see it myself all the time.
on monday i wore a necklace-- black and white beads, from gap, could be construed as "ethnic-looking," i guess, if you were so inclined. someone commented on how beautiful it is, and i said, "oh, it's only from the gap." the someone replied, somehow, with "oh, i guess i'll have to go to africa, then!"
short example. but definitely shows me that i don't need to go looking for proof of my status in this society. so why do i do it?
i know that one reason is that i don't want to be my parents-- so focused on staying positive in the face of the negativity that surrounds me that i cocoon myself into a world where none of it exists (or so i tell myself). that is the world i grew up in, and while ignorance is bliss, in this world leaving the cocoon then becomes a dangerous mental act. when someone finally jolts you into reality with a comment, or a glance, or by spitting in your face, you don't have any way to understand what's happening.
i also know that in order to keep myself going in the various jobs i take i must remind myself of my purpose. why do i put up with working very hard for very little money? because of all of the horrible things i see around me. i want to be a part of a movement for change. i want to do what i can to make this world better for my children. i want to know that i can go to sleep at night knowing that i am helping others beyond myself. i want to know that i'm helping me. it's almost therapy. my way to fight back on all of the ugly things i see. is it terribly effective? no. but as long as i know the "evil" is out there, i continue to want to do what i can.
finally, i know that there's some premium in our day and age placed on knowing...everything...because you can. if you don't know the latest youtube video, political snafoo made by a presidential hopeful, the latest hot song on itunes, and where the protest was at last week, you're behind. woefully so.
so what to do? i try to get away by writing at this "personal reflection" blog every once in awhile, but i'm not sure where else to take it. what to do. maybe take a break from the information overload for awhile, and then find a blog that will do a full recap of the daily show, the project runway premiere, ANTM, racialicious, the ny times, the post's education series (SO GOOD by the way-check it out), keeping up with the kardashians, i <3 new york, and everything else that makes it onto my radar every week.
ha, that rundown of obsessions didn't make you feel very good about me, did it?