Saturday, 24 September 2011

Ostrich tendency

It's hard not to feel depressed by the exceptionally sorry state of the world. Just about anywhere you live, the prospects right now are pretty bleak. The world is like a large bear licking its wounds after some unexpected attack, and hoping tomorrow will be an improvement.

The relentlessly doom-laden headlines about economic ruin make me want to turn and run for the hills, or bury my head in the sand, ostrich-like*. I feel like chucking out the TV, not reading the newspapers, and generally shutting out the rest of the world until things start to get better.

I feel like narrowing my attention to my own little microcosm of friends and loved ones, making sure they're safe and sound, getting whatever pleasure I can and doing my best to preserve my sanity.

The problem is that we've all got used to expensive and comfortable lifestyles that rely on sizeable salaries, affordable outgoings and plenty of jobs. As soon as the world's economies go pear-shaped and all those underpinnings look precarious, life gets very scary indeed.

Sometimes I think those religious hermits who spent their lives in a Himalayan cave, devoting their days to meditation and contemplating the snowy peaks, needing nothing more than a few modest gifts from their admirers, had the right idea.

They never had to worry about the imminent collapse of the banking system, or the price of electricity, or government borrowing, or loopy politicians. They just sat there serenely in the lotus position, pondering the sound of one hand clapping, and smiling benignly as their latest visitor cringed at plummeting share prices on their iPhone.

So let me know when the world is back on track. In the meantime, I'll turn off my mind, relax and float downstream.

* In reality of course ostriches never bury their head in the sand. If they did, they'd suffocate.

23 comments:

Grannymar said...

I sometimes wonder if those religious hermits are not actually opting out of life with all the headaches and problems.

Nick said...

Grannymar - But given the nerve-racking scenario those of us who've opted in are facing, maybe they're having the last laugh?

Scarlet Blue said...

Indeed, and can you blame me for losing myself in X Factor whilst Greece burns?
Scary world out there.
Sx

John Gray said...

I am so like you
I refuse to listen to the news now....I turn over the talk radio station when financial matters come on and I don't even buy a newspaper any more

fax me some good news and I am your friend forever!

Nick said...

Scarlet - I think an awful lot of people are turning to absolutely anything rather than face the endless torrent of bad news.

John - Listening to the news is now a sort of emotional mugging. You find yourself reeling away in a state of shock and disbelief.

nursemyra said...

I've never mastered the art of meditation

kylie said...

i gave up news long long ago. if things are ok in my private world i try not to think of the broader picture

Nick said...

Myra - Neither have I. I tried it a few times but couldn't get the hang of it at all. I think I'm too distractable.

Kylie - I can't bring myself to shut out the news completely, I need to know what's happening to other human beings on the planet and whether they're having decent lives or not.

Baino said...

I still watch it but with a grain of salt I can't do anything to change the economy other than vote in politicians who will hopefully show some fiscal responsibility. We've been lucky so far but I've had to cut back so severely on spending it's not funny. As long as I have my PC that's the only connection to the world I need.

Nick said...

Baino - It now seems routine for politicians to break most of the promises they made pre-election. Overnight they introduce some new policy people never voted for and don't approve of, and they see nothing wrong with that.

I've noticed that the cost of living in Australia has shot up dramatically in the last year or two....

Wisewebwoman said...

Of course I've been aware of the downward spiral for many years now and as you know Nick I don't pay any attention to the bought and paid for so-called "news". The bubble(s) had to burst, or maybe I should call them abscesses.
As I say to everyone: only one solution. Grow.
XO
WWW
PS And it will get worse.

Nick said...

www - It will get worse? Goodness, I can't get away from doom and gloom even here! Abscesses is about right.

speccy said...

I don't understand the economic stuff and I've decided that's ok. Economists don't seem to know what's going on either.

kylie said...

some news filters through to me and i am aware of what happens to people but i avoid a whole lot of exposure, it's just too depressing and theres not a thing i can do

Cinnamon said...

I just don't understand economics. The news bulletins keep saying that we are in a 'dangerous' economic climate. Why dangerous? Is it life- threatening?

sorry if this sounds naive!

Nick said...

Speccy - You're right about economists. They seem to contradict each other all the time.

Kylie - Too true, even in a so-called democracy I have precious little influence on the politicians. I might as well be a barnacle.

Cinnamon - Hey, long time no see! Well, I guess the economic climate is certainly dangerous in the sense of ruining people's lives through unemployment and poverty. But not life-threatening of course.

Nick said...

Cinnamon - I tried several times to leave a comment on your blog, but I was defeated by weird Google error messages saying my account wasn't valid.

Suburbia said...

Wish the media would lay off it a bit, too depressing and I'm sure they talk it down even more.

Nick said...

Suburbia - The media like to make everything as scary as possible. And if you're not an economist, which most of us aren't, how do we know what the truth is?

Jim said...

You know Nick, I feel the same way. Why the media is so obsessed with BAD news is beyond me!I know, it makes $$$$.
I think there would be a market for `good news` only media corporation. There is a lot of it going on everywhere but for some reason we have chosen to ignore it. Imagine not being afraid to hear the news anymore.

Nick said...

Jim - The sad reality is that bad news sells papers. People have a morbid fascination with things going wrong. The media have tried many times to market "good news" but for some reason it just doesn't have the same appeal.

secret agent woman said...

Actually, those religious hermits should worry about the economy being healthy - without it how would they get the gifts from others that they depend on for their survival? No one truly makes it alone. But I also find myself withdrawing from the barrage of negative information, especially when it involves things I cannot control. Too demoralizing.

(And aside - that ostrich with its head in the sand thing is a myth. They don't do that. When confronted with danger they either run away or fight back. Putting their heads in the sand would be suicidal.)

Nick said...

Secret Agent - Even in the midst of a recession, there'll always be someone who can spare a bit of food or clothing, so I don't think the hermits need worry. Yes, funny how the myth of the ostrich in the sand endures despite all evidence to the contrary.