For some people, Imposter Syndrome is a serious issue, and managing it can be a life long battle. It looms in the background waiting for an opportunity to re-enter your consciousness without warning. When in the right frame of mind, a simple news story on the radio or comment made during a meeting can be the trigger. The most important thing to remember in these moments is that life is not a race or a competition. All a person can do is take each day and and focus on what is important. It is irrelevant whether it be a quiest day spent reading, working in the yard, or at the office in meetings which seem to have no end. So long as you make at least one small step each day toward a personal goal, you have made progress. Somedays you will be more successful than others. By keeping focus on what is important in life will bring its own reward of a clear and present mind.
The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts. (V: 16)
Being somewhat of a Japanese horror movie aficionado, I recently watched The Forest on Netflix. Interestingly, although the movie was uninspired, it introduced me to the poet Sara Teasdale. During one point in the movie, the main character quotes several lines from her poem There Will Come Soft Rains. The lines struck a cord for me, such that I had to search out the full version of the poem online, which I share below (first published in the July 1918 issue of Harper’s Magazine).
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
It is the final two stanzas which stand out, as they seem more prescient now than ever. When discussing issues of the environment with friends, I’ve often said that I’m not worried about the Earth, it will be here long after we’re gone, but how much damage will we do before our time comes to pass? Let us hope Sara Teasdale’s predication about Spring is right.
This article by Oliver Reichenstein is a great read about the current state of the web, and how closed systems such as Facebook and Google, have slowly taken over people’s attention1. As we have seen recently, this has led to a stifling of civil and open conversation, where users consume content that is curated for them by “the algoritm”, only serving to reinforce their world views and keep them in the system. This is primarily why I decided to start actively writing, instead of simply “liking” or reacting to someone else’s content shovelled at me. I was finding it ever more difficult to discuss or comment openly on complex issues. Most on-line forums focus on painting everything as black or white, all subtlety and nuance is lost, as that can’t be easily monetized. I’m writing here to clear my own thoughts and become an active participant in the world. Who knows, if chaos theory is correct, even one small voice can theoretically lead to big change.
As my first post, I thought it would be a good idea to remind myself and anyone who discovers my site what it is to keep an open mind in this increasingly complex and unstable world.
Let us keep our minds open by all means, as long as that means keeping our sense of perspective and seeking an understanding of the forces which mould the world. But don’t keep your minds so open that your brains fall out. There are still things in this world which are true and things which are false; acts which are right and acts which are wrong, even if there are statesmen who hide their designs under the cloak of high-sounding phrases.
Walter Kotschnig (1940)
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