I often worry that I might seem negative in a culture awash in out-of-sight-out-of-mind positivity.
I am, I’ll admit, grumpy about casual single-use plastic waste by those of us who know better.
I’m grumpy about, say, money in politics drowning out the healthcare or economic or social equality rights of 99% of us.
I’m grumpy about bad development, weak historical preservation and a lack of affordable housing.
I am grumpy about climate change—when 90% of my fit friends are driving in a town where walking and bicycling and bussing is convenient, and healthy, and affordable, and fun.
But I’m not negative (to use a double negative).
I care about all these big and little things because I do have hope for our earth, and our humanity.
Some of my most powerful, intelligent, kind-hearted friends say “we’re all fucked and when we die as a species the earth will be happier.”
I reject that. I was brought up to see that we humans, however confused, are fundamentally good.
It’s always easier to give up than to do all the little things that go into creating a more enlightened, kind, responsible, fair society.
It’s always easier to be nihilistic. And for all my grumpiness, I’m not nihilistic. It’s too easy to tear down or give up. It’s always gonna be harder to nurture and build up.
We can push back against nuclear proliferation.
We can push back against climate change, and invest our food industry in regenerative agriculture (which literally reverses climate change, and makes better and more diverse and healthy and yummier food). We can plant more trees—every tree cleans our polluted air and provides oxygen for four humans.
We can regulate pollution, and if done intelligently that regulation can be good for our economy both short- and long-term.
Giving up is easy.
It’s always gonna be cooler to be negative, and dark. It’s always gonna be a little uncool to care about all the little things. But we must, because, if we haven’t given up, everything matters.
And it’s more fun to care. When things work, life is vivid, wholesome and magical.
It isn’t tough to say: we’re all fucked, so fuck it. True toughness is found in those of you who care.