“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” “Yes.”
These words of dialogue from Star Wars: The Force Awakens could easily apply to the 2016 Presidential Election campaign. The level of tension found on social media platforms such as Facebook has reached toxic levels. Certainly, heated debates are part of the norm during an election year. Yet volatile circumstances have created a societal maelstrom. Both major party candidates are greatly disliked. Acts of Terrorism have become a mainstay in the daily news cycle. Racial tensions continue to foster division and distrust. And lastly, the new school year has begun. Honestly, if you’re a parent, that’s the top story. Being the new kid at school is no joke.
My youngest child started a new elementary school in which she’s transitioning from a small private school to a public one. Thankfully her big brother is a veteran upperclassman at the same public elementary school. In theory, he’s bridging the unknown for her and introducing his little sister to the student body at large. I’m happy to report that so far he’s been quite the helpful ambassador to her. With any luck, my daughter will quickly learn the ropes and fly solo before my son’s goodwill tour inevitably ends abruptly due to a waning lack of interest. She’s a bit shy on the outside but tough as nails on the inside. I’m not
losing more sleep than usual stressing over my kids too concerned.
Did I mention things are different this year? Elementary school kids are talking about politics at the playground. I’m guessing because they’re overhearing their parents conversations as well as being exposed to fragmented, unstructured bits of information via digital media. That’s troubling considering civic lessons remain largely absent at the elementary school level. Yet I remain tentatively hopeful since kids can adapt and remain focused on play. In my opinion, play represents the pure interweaving fabric of the universe which connects us all.
Given the complexity of the 21st century, the simpler things in life hold great appeal. Maybe that’s the awakening we all feel? I think the Bob Ross approach to painting transfers well to tackling everyday pitfalls. There’s peace in the moment. Finding those “happy little trees” taps into inspirational joy. Welcoming silence instead of racing to the comfort of distraction clears one’s mind.
I love this quote from Albert Einstein:
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Maybe that’s the missing ingredient lately – imagination.
What do you think?