Sunday, January 19, 2020

Mosaic Monday #63: Don't go with the glaciers

In last week’s post, I wrote about my chosen responses for troubling world events: prayer and sticking my head in the sand.   I am sure most of my readers recognized the ostrich reference as somewhat tongue in cheek, since I am not one to sit idly by when something needs to be fixed.  (It also made for a handy writing technique to segue into our Hamburg trip.)

But even I can get depressed and discouraged every now and then, so it got me thinking about the root of my recent discontent.  And more importantly, how to improve my mood.  As a wise Spousal Unit said to me, this is not my typical post, but if I am feeling this way, maybe writing about it can help someone else.  So here goes.

I believe the source of my displeasure is a mismatch between expectation and reality.  I expect the world to be safe for humans, animals and plants, and all too often it is not.  I want a certain amount of green space to be preserved for animal habitat and human recreation, and yet those spaces are disappearing quickly.  I expect to be respected when I am trying to do the right thing, and recently I have experienced pushback.

So, what are my choices?  I can lower my expectations.  I found the above quote, and initially it made me feel better.  Upon further reflection, I think it is an appropriate quote for holidays or other special events, when our expectations are often so high that we are bound to be dissatisfied.  But to apply it to our planet – hmmm.  I don’t think I am ready to accept things “as they are”.

I can alter reality by taking action.  I am already involved in an initiative designed to reduce carbon emissions through increased investment in renewable forms of electricity, and today Spousal Unit and I agreed we should research the parcels that might be for sale as a result of the Weyerhaeuser deal.  As someone recently pointed out to me, it's difficult to live in the wilderness unless you own the wilderness.  It's also difficult to protect the wilderness unless someone who cares owns the wilderness.

I can ensure that I have the facts, rather than making assumptions.  In the process of gathering signatures for the initiative that I mentioned above, I was challenged by a city official on a public sidewalk.   I was equal parts frustrated and discouraged.  Suffice it to say that I was tempted to categorize City Hall as the bad guy, make assumptions about their intentions, and ignore their request that I obtain a permit.  Instead, I have made an appointment with the city manager on Wednesday, and I am confident that we can find a middle ground.

I can ensure that my picture of reality is balanced.  A) From our little corner of the world, it is easy to fall into “woe is me”.  But I am absolutely certain that there is always someone out there that has it worse than me.  That is not to say that I am rejoicing that someone is worse off, but gaining a broader perspective does help to pull me up.  And then I will be more disposed to help those in need.    B) “Bad news” is everywhere, and it can lead us to believe that all news is bad.  But I have only to look at the posts of my fellow bloggers to know that is not true.  People crafting pouches for the joeys and other animals stranded by the Australian wildfires.  Bloggers who bring the devastation of plastic to the forefront, with concrete suggestions on what we can do as individuals to have an impact.  Friends who point us to alternative sources of news, such as Global Goodness – thank you Maria of Under my umbrella.  Her link prompted me to seek out other forums, and I located the Good News Network.

And if all that fails, I still have hope.  Good old Google provides this definition of hope:  “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”.  Well, you can see how this becomes a bit circular.  I hope.  My expectations are not met and I lose hope.  So I dug deeper.

How interesting that Google provides a second definition for hope, which is noted as “archaic” – in other words, very old, or old-fashioned.  That definition?  “A feeling of trust”.  I don’t know about you, but I sense that people are losing trust in some of our most basic institutions, from news outlets to churches to governments.  If that fabric continues to fray, it will be hard to get anything accomplished.  

So I call on all of us to do what we can, and to trust that good things will result.  Who knows, Google's dictionary may restore trust as a modern definition of hope, rather than consider it as a concept whose days are disappearing with the glaciers.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

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36 comments:

  1. A post full of so much wisdom and encouragement! Thank you and have a wonderful week. Thank you for hosting Mosaic Monday!

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  2. Good evening, dear Angie... I admire this drawing, they are lovely. And I love the quote of Mark Twain.

    Happy MosaicMonday

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  3. Thank you Angie for all you are doing. It’s frightening what’s happening to our world and hard to stay optimistic and happy these days. You write very well without getting into personalities and you are doing something positive ... neither of which I seem to be capable of at this stage and place in my life. I’m glad you can.

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  4. ...at this moment I have little or no hope when I hear what garbage is coming out of my fellow Americans' mouths.

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  5. Thank you for doing what you can when you can, you wrote a wonderful post. I learned years ago with my mother in law, have no expectations and you will have no disappointment, anything good is a bonus!! I believe every little positive thing one person does in this day and age is a bonus, the general greed and selfishness exhibited these days is frightening, but if we can hold to a little bit of positive goodness it will eventually make a difference.

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  6. I do feel better knowing there are people like you out there doing what you are doing to make things better.

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  7. Sadly it’s true. Hope in our officials, church , friends and family is slim to none.

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  8. You've done some hard thinking about the issues facing you and have come up with doable and logical plans. Hope is necessary in order to bring about change. Little by little.

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  9. I believe change comes with each and every one of us. We can each do our part for the greater good. We can vote, we can protest or affirm, we can letter write or make phone calls, we can donate time and/or money towards causes we believe in, we can pray, we can petition, we can each do the smallest thing to reverse a wrong and together make it a right. The world has always had its sober times but then heros arise. Never give up hope!

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  10. I am currently in the front line of some of the impacts of what I believe to be climate change. I am generally a happy, optimistic and reflective person and I have found I need to surround myself with likeminded people and through this I still have hope and through this I still believe in goodness and through this I don't believe we are completely stuffed - Yet.
    Naive? Maybe, but just as I see the grass growing back on my Aussie lawn after the intense heat I see there is signs of movement in the right direction. But then we are in summer and sometimes the cheery Aussie sun is here without pollution to lift my spirits!
    Keep up the good work, chip away and collectively may we all be like the little bird in your picture with hope!
    Wren x

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  11. Happy Mosaic Monday,

    much love...

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  12. Hello, cute images and mosaic. I believe doing one act of kindness can go a long way. I have little hope with our current elected politicians, change is needed. We can hope things will get better, everyone deserves to feel safe and be happy. Thanks for hosting. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

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  13. Such a thoughtful post. I agree with letting go what we cannot change, but as a part of a collective group working together for the greater good, great changes can happen. We need faith and hope and determination. The bushfires in Australia have certainly brought climate change to the forefront. I too am trying to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint. I think it is all up to us to do our part however small. Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt post today.

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  14. How wonderful to find people whose thoughts echo one's own, Angie. Like you I have become increasingly troubled by a world that doesn't live up to my expectations. No, I didn't lower them, but I turned my "hope for change" from a passive to an active emotion. I can hope for things becoming better, but I shall actively fight for that change to occur - I can become an agent for that change.

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  15. It is a time that we can get disheartened with everything going on around us. I've had to make a little attitude adjustment these past few days....but for a different reason! When you visit you'll understand why! hahaha! Enjoy your day! Love your mosaic!

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  16. Thanks again for another great week Angie. As of right now I'm caught up. I've visited everyone and discovered some wonderful new blogs. One of the joys for today.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

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  17. Great post and I wish you the best preserving that land. Interestingly, the sermon at church yesterday was somewhat similar, but relating to church and the Bible of course. Change is inevitable, but the Word is unchanging, yet many churches have changed it anyway, etc. I have been lamenting the same changes you have pointed out, especially the shrinking habitats and we have discussed changing our ag exemption to wildlife management to preserve the native grasses and the habitats therein. I wish we could afford to buy thousands of acres to save more of it.

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  18. A wonderful post and a great read to start my day. I struggle with expectations not being met, and lack of trust, so I try to lower my expectations. Probably not the best approach, however.

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  19. In Belize, they are using pasta noodles for straws. One small step. My New year's resolution is always eco. I take one small step each year. This year, it is to bring my own silverware to plastic using restaurants.

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  20. I share your concern. We must keep trying. If each of us contacts a store or company every week with a suggestion that might help, that will move us forward. I look for suggestion boxes, websites, FB pages, and surveys on receipts. Oh, did you see that China is going to ban single use plastics?

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  21. Good post! If we loose hope...what do we have left?

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  22. So true! Great guotes! Have a great week!

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  23. Very hard dealing with our world right now, so what I do is shrink my world a bit. Only way for me to keep sane. I do my part with recycling, support the Red Cross and I try and be up and kind to all I meet. I have found if I can help one person in the supermarket or at the library or feed the deer and offer water to the cats nearby, it helps. Every little bit, but I don't intend to let #45 ruin my life and take away my joy. 😊 Kit

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  24. Wise thoughts! There is indeed a big gap between expectation (our own and very often expectations created by the media) and reality - and somewhere in this gap we forget to appreciate what we have.

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  25. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Angie. For people with enquiring minds who think quite deeply about what is going wrong with our world these are troubling times. On the other hand there are many people who as you suggest, go blindly along caring about little more than their everyday things. I don’t know which is right or wrong but I am happy to have appoint of view on most things.

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  26. Each artwork is delightful and the words are precious and so true ~ thank you ^_^

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  27. These drawings are wonderful … and thank you for giving me a mention along the way of your interesting thoughts. Some folks see “hope” as a do-nothing word, no more than wishing. Others believe the word is about trusting that goodness beyond understanding prevails. The latter view feels better than the former, but as you indicate neither implies we should take no actions to make things better.

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  28. I fear that so long as our population continues to grow unchecked, with ever greater demands on the world's resources, there is little we can do to ameliorate the global situation. And the fact that the leadership of your own country denies climate change, or at the very least, any anthropogenic component to it, does not give one cause for optimism. There are many credible scientists who fear that we have already passed the tipping point. Buying forested patches in Montana will only be effective if the original tract remains intact. If many people buy small parcels and then start to carve it up, put in roads, build vacation homes, etc the integrity of the forest will have been lost. Better than a strip mine to be sure, but no longer what it was,

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  29. These are amazing images. You inspire me. I am discouraged, too.
    I really think it helps to write it down. It does me. That's how I ended up writing a book about caring for my parents.
    Thank you for your empathy on Annabelle. It is discouraging. I know, I said that.
    Good for you for your activism. You are wise. I have no energy, meantime. My cataracts are driving me nuts.

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  30. I always find that expectations come up short but I try and stay positive. It's hard but you do what you can. A wonderful post Angie, keep on expecting the best, it's out there and lots of people are trying too. Have a wonderful evening and weekend.

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  31. A great post. Our pastor says he most common marriage advice that he gives to couple is to decrease expectations and increase commitment. I find that true in a lot of things besides marriage. I think you are talking about something similar, maybe go ahead and decrease expectations but you have to do something about what is bothering you.

    I’ve been reading a lot about the Russians increasingly sophisticated propaganda war they are waging on our country. They are not trying to advance one political agenda over another, they don’t care about our politics to a certain extent. They are trying sow dissension and dissatisfaction in the population to get people not engage as much, and they are pretty well satisfied with the results so far. And I am one of those people who enjoy social media but I have been in the process of transforming how I use it. I use facebook and instagram for positive energy type things only and have unfollowed almost all political sites. I actively block posts and put some of my more partisan friends on a 30 day chill when the hot takes get worse as during the present impeachment process. All that political stuff just gave me anxiety anyway. So I’m all about cat videos, running, hiking, and geocaching now.
    Just doing what little I can to advance civil discourse.

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  32. i enjoyed this post, it brought to mind many things i think about, then tuck into the back of my mind!!

    i hope you do not decrease your expectations, someone once said "expect nothing and you will never be disappointed"!!! but that never felt right to me.

    i am a bit of an ostrich and i am ok with it. i like my little world and i am able to stay happy in it!!

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  33. Excellent post. Wise words. Missed it the first time around so glad you shared it again. You've expressed my own thoughts on so much.

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