Monday, August 29, 2011

HOPING FOR THE WORST

It's not something I care to admit, even quietly to myself, but sometimes I catch my mind hoping for the worst.

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.

8 comments:

YesBiscuit! said...

I think it's human nature. I do it too. Although I'm used to my thoughts veering off in this direction, I would never think to say anything like this out loud and even the mere notion of giving voice to these thoughts seems ludicrous. So that kind of tells me I'm not REALLY hoping for the worst. If that makes sense.

mandt said...

Anarchy is what replaces hope after the grief stage

CHI SPHERE said...

In the Nam we always prepared for the worst and this made each days end better since we were often surprised to discover that nothing happened. It is human nature to expect the worst and I think that the media looks for the darkest information so that the "sell" brings "good" ratings. It is strange that good news is often hard to find.

I do have trouble lately at night thinking about "the BIG ONE" here in Andreasville. I calm myself by drinking a short Bushmills while I fill the tub with water and check the batteries in the flash lights by the boys beds and our bed then touch the ready bags we each have by our shoes. Thank God for Irish whiskey and Advil PM!

PeterAtLarge said...

Yes! Yes, it does. The reason I "said it out loud" was to be able to take an honest look at it, rather than leave it there in the shadow...

MandT, that's an interesting and troubling progression!

Cheers, Chi! Bushmills forever! You are more prepared than we are, I must say. Though we do have water supplies on hand, and an emergency kit. You remind me to check it out this week.

Richard said...

I can agree with you here Peter. My thoughts tend to veer in the same direction during such times.

I've been reading up as regards the whole peak oil and financial crash scenario. One thing I am finding that we have to be careful of is that our darker fascinations don't influence our choice of information and thus unbalance our views. I used to be quite bearish about the future, but these days, I'm not as sure as I was.

Ryan said...

Peter i say hats off on your essays man buy valium online

Ryan said...

Amazing buy valium online

Ryan said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information keep posted buy valium online