By Jason Menard
Sometimes I wish that those people constantly on their high horse would simply ride off into the sunset. After all, there are so many things in this world worthy of caring about, other people’s interests shouldn’t be one of them.
And, really, do these people have any fun?
Recently, I read several negative comments to an article published by the SunMedia chain of newspapers about a journal release that discusses the progress made in determining the cause of male pattern baldness. The hope, obviously, is that if there’s a cause then we can develop a cure.
Without fail, the usual comments came out: “Why are we wasting money on this?” “Who cares?” “Oh, did we cure cancer and AIDS already?”
Yes, in the grand scheme of things wrong with this world, a receding hairline isn’t high on the list. But for some people, it’s a big deal. And, more to the point, who are any of us to judge what’s right or wrong?
We see it in music: alleged music lovers spending more time angry about the fact that Justin Bieber and Katy Perry get airplay than they do enjoying the music they say we should listen to.
We see it in film: woe-is-me lamentations that films with the names Harold or Kumar in the title rake in millions while an obscure, six-hour/one-shot silent masterpiece from Djibouti just isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
And, of course, we see it in sports: the ever-popular “How can any player be worth $7 million when we don’t have enough doctors for our communities?”
Art, literature, television, philanthropy, science… it seems there are people who are just not going to be happy no matter what. Even if we suddenly agree with them, they change their mind. After all, how many bands have lost their cool cachet by “selling out” and becoming popular. The nerve.
Every statement is an admonition. “How can you not support Cause X? Didn’t you see that viral video?” “Why are you not outraged by what our government is doing?” “How can you support this mass-marketed, soulless drivel when real artists are out there starving?” “Speaking of starving, how can you support that soulless, faceless corporate entity with their test-tube-created food when people are lining up at Food Banks?”
Here’s what these people, in their passion, neglect to remember. The world is a scary place.
In an ideal world, we’d be donating all of our time, resources, and effort to solving all the world’s problems. We’d be focused on eradicating hunger, disease, sadness, and unfairness around the globe. We’d wake up focusing on altruism and go to bed only lamenting the paucity of hours in the day.
And we’d all be even more miserable.
There is so much bad in life that when you find something good, you need to embrace it. If Jersey Shore makes you happy, then go ahead and watch, guilt-free. If you like pop music, then dance around to your heart’s content. There are no global standards or tests for what’s right.
Actually, that’s wrong. There is one test. And that’s simply, if it makes you feel good and it’s not hurting anyone, enjoy it.
If you focus only on the world’s ills, then you’ll be find yourself crushed by the weight of the world and spend your life in the foetal position, crying yourself to sleep. And that’s no kind of life to lead.
I’d imagine it would get overwhelming worrying about what others think about your interests. Personally, I’d rather spend my time enjoying the things that make me happy – whether or not they pass someone else’s definition or appropriate.
What if we focused on making the world just a little better? What if we celebrated the fact that we found something that made us happy and shared that positivity instead of condemning it? What if, instead of condemning people for not giving enough to enough, we cheered those who gave, even a little bit, to support a cause?
Simple math says if we all do just a little to make things better, it will add up to a whole lot. But then what would those self-proclaimed arbiters of what’s right do on their high horses?
Hopefully ride off and leave the rest of us to enjoy life in all its glory – from frivolous to profound!