It happened again with the latest hurricane. I should, of course, have been mightily relieved for my fellow citizens to watch its power decline as it reached the coast and headed north. But no, the shameful truth is that some part of me kept clinging, secretly, to the perverse hope that it would maintain and even intensify its strength.
What's this about? Am I alone in this peculiar perversity? I'm sure I can't be. I hope not, since that would make a monster of me. I hope that it's merely human to be attracted by high drama, even tragedy, no matter that it involves the suffering and death of others. Beyond the abhorrence, there is something magnetic about the catastrophic earthquake, the mine disaster, the terrorist attack. At least--and, as I said, I am not proud to admit it--this is true for me. Reason argues vainly as the mind goes charging off in pursuit of its childish excitements.
I wonder if my attachment to our current political debacle is related to this unhealthy habit of hoping for the worst? I watch with fascination, as well as with despair, at the hurricane approaches. I can't seem to take my eyes off the madness that abounds. What I'm learning, slowly, is to be honest in watching my mind at work, to observe when it latches on to these reprehensible thoughts and, with patience and a modicum of reason, to correct them.