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Response to Cary (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 03:41 PM

55. Not sure this is helpful one bit. But I go through

the exact same cycle and feelings. What has helped me is reflecting on three years I spent as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa in the mid 70s. It seemed to me that the governments throughout the entire continent were blatantly corrupt during my time there. By and large, the people were poor ó abundantly, ubiquitously so. At the same time, they seemed almost always to have a genuinely happy demeanor and spirit.

Autocrats and corruption dominated politics and governments, yet life went on. Life wasnít perfect, but the human spirit prevailed. The country I served in, Lesotho, was rated as the 3rd poorest in the world by the UN when I first went over there. Yet the people were by and large happy. They survived, and they enjoyed despite economic and political conditions. It struck me that they actually did have wealth, but it was a wealth of human spirit, a wealth of each other, a wealth of relationships, of camaraderie. It was inspiring to say the least.

So, I reflect on that experience to help me through the depressing moments and days. I take comfort and gain optimism from the knowledge that the human spirit can and does prevail at the society level if not in every case the personal level despite political and economic conditions. I see that same thing in our own young in America today. They pull together, they form bonds of common interest and purpose like Iíve not seen since the Vietnam War protest years. It gives me optimism. Life will go on, people on the whole will find the means to be happy and enjoy life despite whatever is thrown at them. There will be pain, there will be sacrifice, but unless the world dies, life will go on. And there will be reasons to feel good.

It helps me to reflect on what I experienced in Africa. And itís definitely better than the alternative ... which for me would be a never ending negative spiral downward. So So I use it to get myself out of that bad head space and focus on something more productive. It works for me.

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Cary Feb 2020 OP
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LineReply Not sure this is helpful one bit. But I go through
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