Scare And Care

*I write a column called Life North of 50 for the Merritt Herald, and this blog post was published in the Herald on April 20, 2023.*


How do you feel about the state of the city/province/country/world? I’m at a point where I’m mostly shutting out what’s going on in the world and even our country, because it’s just too overwhelming. There is enough to deal with on a local and provincial level. I wonder if what we’re all going through is simply a shift that humanity has experienced many times throughout history; our great-grandparents and grandparents probably had a point in their lives where they felt like they didn’t understand the world anymore. That’s the way the world changes - gradually, then suddenly {also known as the Hemingway Effect, coined after his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises”}. Small changes happen over a period of time until one day, the world is a different place. 


The importance of how different generations deal with issues and feel about the world cannot be ignored, and what I think is just not going to be relevant anymore at some point. And that’s ok, I believe that’s how it’s always been. My husband disagrees (and I let him), he thinks it’s especially bad now because we have access to information like we never did before - thanks to the internet - and we are not critical enough to make sure the information is correct and it even concerns us.


Maybe it is a little bit of both; it’s a shift in the world and Gen Z {and Alpha, which is apparently what comes next} will eventually lead the way out of it as they see fit and they will have a way to deal with the information overload from the internet, because they grew up with it. This takes a lot of pressure off us, and by “us” I mean Gen X and Boomers; Millennials - you’re still on the hook. While it takes the pressure off, it doesn’t mean we can quit caring. We have to continue to care, even when we’re scared by the daily news coming at us.


When we’re scared and don’t know how to deal with a situation to move forward, we quit caring because that’s the easiest thing to do. It’s easier to turn fear into rage than into genuine care and concern. It’s easier to jump on the trend of “cancelling” people and sending them nasty threats than trying to understand what’s going on. Seriously, how can it be a thing that people are receiving (death) threats for something they said?!? We have to become more aware of our thoughts and question/regulate ourselves and our actions - and that applies to all generations.