One of my primary mottos in life is to question everything. As you know that is one of the three things on my permanent header here at RJsCorner. Questioning everything is not limited to things I am told to accept without questions, they also include my current beliefs. That is what this two-part post is going to be about. The picture above does a pretty good job of visually describing how I see my life looking forwards and especially backwards. Because one life experience is just piled onto the top of others, there are no simple truths anymore. Your truth depends on where you are and what has come before.
This post is about my seemingly endless moods now. In the past, I have always said I suffer from bouts of depression but, maybe I was wrong? Maybe it is anxiety that is surrounding me? That made sense given my other strong Aspie traits. Anxiety is one of the top ten for Aspie symptoms. As an educational piece let’s look at the difference at least from a very elementary level:
The first definition of depression seems kind of silly. A symptom of depression is depression. That’s kind of like the logic that the Bible is all true because it says it is. But anyway, going down that list I don’t find much of anything that I frequently feel. But the anxiety list is another matter. Restlessness is the normal to me. I just don’t do ruts very well. I want every day to have its own unique challenges. The other items on the anxiety list are sometimes noticed but not at any significant level.
So, maybe it isn’t depression or anxiety. I think when I get down to it my trouble is that I worry and when that starts to overwhelm me I say I am depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t worry at a micro or personal level much. I have learned to put aside the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune 🥴. Having gone through my formative years not knowing that there were others out there that had the same experiences and that those experiences were common enough to have a name (Aspergers Syndrome) was very stressful. Going deaf at the age of forty-two was also very stressful, but I was never overcome with worry about that either.
I worry at a macro-level
I don’t worry so much about my personal life, I worry about our country, our world and all the inequality that has always been in it. I worry because I see so many people who just don’t seem to care about other human beings. I see a country that is coming apart at the seams and no one seems to realize that fact or even care that it is happening. I feel kinda like I felt in my formative years when I thought I was the only one out there. Why can’t we just get along? That is a total mystery to me and I worry about that.
The worst thing of this type of worry is that there is really not much I personally can do about it. I try to convince myself of that but it still almost overwhelms me at times. Why don’t Christians act like Christians? They seem to have latched onto a person I truly despise as their 21st century savior! How can I call myself a Christian, or even a follower of Jesus when there are so many examples around me doing things I can’t tolerate or at even understand.
Tomorrow I will try to dig down to a deeper level of what I am feeling and have felt most of my life. I have two basic wishes for this two-part essay. One is if you can see yourself in my words then you know you are not alone. The other is to understand that there is more than one way to see the world and neither is wrong. Well except maybe for those who care for nothing but themselves…
3 thoughts on “Getting To The Root Of It All … Part 1”
Recently I have been kind of immersed in the life and impact of Mr. Rogers. A little odd for someone my age, I guess, but there is something so hopeful and encouraging about how he went about teaching and influencing children with a very simple approach. He honestly cared about people “just the way they are,” and he truly listened to what children (and adults) were saying. when they expressed worries or concerns. Then, he responded in a way that reflected those worries while offering an explanation designed to comfort and calm the person he was communicating with. He didn’t sugarcoat bad things but helped a young mind process them.
I thought about the way he dealt with the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, or toward the end of his life how he addressed children and their parents right after 9/11. He had a way of speaking slowly, choosing his words and inflection with great care, all while acknowledging the uneasiness others felt at that moment.
Like you, I have been worrying a lot about the fate of our country. Under assault by a deadly virus, racial unrest, an illogical refusal by many regarding masks or simple safety precautions, and the effect of a completely incompetent, dangerous, and likely unbalanced president, I have had some trouble sleeping and turning off the chatter.
But, in listening to a tremendous podcast about Fred Rogers and reading a few books about his approach to worry and uncertainty, his total love for others, and his unfailing optimism for the human race, I feel better than I have in months. Maybe just pulling away from my own filters and trying to see things through someone else’s’ eyes, like Mr. Rogers, is exactly what I needed at this point.
Thanks for the thoughts Bob. Yeah, I can tell by your recent posts over at Satisfying Retirement that we share much of the same feelings about what is going on. Tomorrow’s post will hone in on what I see is my core feeling about our times.
I remember when Tom Hanks came out with his portrayal of Mr. Rogers, I should have guessed it was deeper than my first glance. Many things are, aren’t they. I will study him deeper. Since podcasts are seldom captioned can you give me another source of info on him?
I am reading “Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever,” and “The World According to Mister Rogers.”
For your readers, the podcast is Finding Fred. It is a 10 episode podcast from last year. I understand that the Google podcast app will be adding a transcription service to podcasts at some point in the near future.