The Sun Will Keep Rising

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.“  Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States of America

Call me an eternal optimist. I have always looked at life with a glass half full mentality. I have always believed that the world is what you make out of it. Even in the worst of times, we see what we want to see. I abide by those three little words: “Everything is Relative”.

But being an optimist nowadays is no small feat! Not one day goes by without having the gloom of the world plastered in front of our eyes, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Sometimes, it seems that the only way to escape this behemoth of negatively charged matter is to disappear, disconnect from the grid. Something not so easy according to recent studies. For many, especially for the young generation, to do so is as hard as kicking a drug or smoke addiction!

An intrusive network of satellite TVs, combined with limitless access to the internet and an economy that knows no boundaries, have reduced what was once a vast planet of great distances into a small village where everything is only a click away. Whether you are on the train, in a cab, waiting for the bus, on the plane, walking down the street, or even on a beach in the Caribbean, at school, at work, in a meeting, or in bed. Fast Food information (information that is devoid of any meaning, fat on drama, sweet on bias opinions, saturated with voyeurism and presented in large portions without any context) is constantly pushed down our subconscious. Independently if one wants it or not, it is getting harder and harder not to be “connected”.

Is there a correlation with food? There was a time when it was limited to the kitchen and restaurants. Now, Fast Food (devoid of any real benefits, full of processed fat, sweet on corn derivatives, saturated with attractive colors and presented in unnecessarily large portions) is found anywhere from the gas station to the pharmacy. Consequently, and obviously combined with other factors, our health has degraded tremendously. Is our intelligence awaiting the same fate?

We live in an era where every second, we are reminded that Armageddon is upon us. Today it is Climate Change. Yesterday it was Gas Stocks. Tomorrow will be the Economy, and next month it will be time for Fish Stocks. Next year is 2012 – The End of the World. An Asteroid is coming soon, within the next 2,500 years and the Rise of Sea Levels will drown most of the big cities in the world, sometime within the next 100 years. TV thrives with shows that fantasize on computer simulations that illustrate what will happen when the End is at our door. Hollywood has an orgy every time a Doomsday prediction comes out.

We must ask ourselves, are we actually wired to process all this information? Is it making our lives better? Is it necessary and trivial to know everything that happens everywhere? Or is all this information instead making us more anxious, depressed and giving us a false interpretation of the world? Is the world really worse now than before?  And if it is, relative to what?

I am not saying that the world is beautiful and that we should’t worry. Not at all! Believe me, I am going through my share of craziness down here in Argentina, a country where making sense has been extinct for a very long time. (Don’t get me started!) I do believe that indeed the world is coming to an end, the end of a “cycle”!

This morning, while running, I witnessed a beautiful sunrise and it made me think. Independently of all our tragedies, our wars, our losses, and our threats, the planet keeps going and the sun keeps rising. And the beauty of the sunrise will have nothing to do with the state of the world. Isn’t it refreshing! Isn’t it amazing to realize that at the end, all of our daily worries, all of our anxiety, our stress, our doubts, our complaints, have no place in the scheme of the Universe. The world could come to an end tomorrow, yet, the sun will rise again, reminding us that life goes one, as it has since billions of years and will do for billion of years to come.

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