The Flight of the Cicadas, Preface

Gloom & Doom

It is not a difficult task to look around and see gloom and doom perpetrated by the media, agencies, churches, scholars, politicians, and even the common man (and woman of course). This perpetuation of an end of days mentality appears to be apparent whether I am teaching in the classroom or strolling along in a park gazing into the faces of those passing by. A dark cloud seems to loom in many corners of society and anyone firmly intent on standing in the corners is bathed in negativity in titanic proportions.

It astounds me how we, as a society, seem wired in a way that if it will scare us, shock us, or make us profoundly sad, then we will watch it, read it, or listen to it. Unfortunately, whether I’m sitting at a church that is telling me that “the end is neigh” or I’m listening to a politician rant about how terrible things are going and how he can change everything, the feeling is the same; the feeling that I’m being waterboarded with toxic water.

I was listening to a Tony Robbins’ audio presentation and heard him say, “where focus goes, energy flows.” That statement prompted me to think not only about where I’m placing my focus and thereby focusing energy, but where the world’s energy seems to be focused. In one popular online newspaper, I choose a snapshot of a random day and found the following subjects were covered:

  • Asylum seekers are being turned away/banned.
  • A winning boxer gets in trouble.
  • A presidential candidate is a racist; another is a liar.
  • People are sick, and nobody will help.
  • Millions of people could experience hardship and tragedy.
  • Someone was killed and several people were injured.
  • Another animal species is dying out.

The list really could go on for quite a while. This phenomenon is not limited to online newspapers. This focus on negativity appears to be even more prevalent in the news we see on television. It’s seen on billboards and spread through speeches. Dystopian books, television shows, and movies have increased in popularity over the years as well. We, as a world, seem to be gravitating toward a path that may be one we can’t return from.

The flip side of this dystopian trend includes a gravitation toward hope, strength of spirit, love of our fellow man, and taking on a more optimistic view of the world around us despite the negativity that we are inundated with.

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