YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=NQqOtB8GdmE
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Duration:03:34
Uploaded:2021-03-05
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In the video I describe a worry that it is selfish to feel nice in a world that remains full of bad things. I'm not sure if selfishness is the right word, but I don't know what the right word is?

I do not want to feel the mix of rage and powerlessness that I often feel. But I do want to remain unsatisfied at the inadequacy of our response to injustice and suffering. I don't know if rage is the right emotion for me, or even anger. I think hunger is a better word...something that primarily motivates me toward action. And part of the cycle of hunger is enjoying eating, right? Like, at the end of a day of hard work, good food is a joy...it's not a stop to the gas station just to fill up the tank, it's a marvel.

The achievement necessary to get vaccines developed and into people...it could have been better, and rollout remains imperfect, but it's a marvel of humanity. It's something that I believe really deeply that we need to celebrate. Nothing is perfect, but this is really amazing, and I am down to indulge in some good ol' fashioned joy that this is happening.

That doesn't mean that I'm going to remain satisfied or complacent for the whole rest of my life! There is still much to do, but I kinda want to try and enjoy doing it.

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Good Morning John, February was, for me personally and for the world at large, a little rough.

But also, it was good. A lot of people stared getting vaccines, including a lot of people that I know and love and care about.

A mean, petulant victim hood based presidency was being quickly, maybe a little too quickly, forgotten, which has been a relief. And then, unrelated to any of that except that it persevered through it is that the perseverance rover landed safely and spectacularly on the surface of mars. And other cool stuff is happening too, like Space X is learning how to land a new rocket, you know, slowly.

And mRNA therapies are proving to be potentially useful beyond just this vaccine and to a lot of different things that will improve human health and life. And as disastrous as this year has been for education, it has started to feel a little bit like a wake up call that we don’t need it to increase in cost dramatically every single year. That there might be other ways to do this without raising the barriers as high as they will go.

It’s possible that we’re not going to learn anything from any of this, but my mood is elevated. It is good. And this might have something to with the fact that like going into this winter, everyone in Montana who I knew was like “this is going to be very bad.” And then, once we were in it, it was, but no one said anything.

We just, head-down, went through it, yes it sucks outside, and we can’t go anywhere else inside except for our own homes safely, so we will just do it and not mention it. And now, it is nice outside. We have plenty of winter left, don’t get me wrong, but spring is definitely coming and we’re definitely on the other side.

I’m starting to feel like what I’m experiencing isn’t just hope, it’s joy. I see spring, and I know that it’s coming, and I’m not just talking about the weather. A piece of me, and a lot of the world outside of me as well, is kind of encouraging me to not feel this feeling.

Some of that is definitely wise, like we don’t know what the future holds, we should not let our guard down. There may yet be twists and turns in this thing. But some of it is a little bit self indulgent.

It’s like my brain saying, “but it could have gone so much better, it didn’t have to be this bad if only these people had done x, if only the government had done y.” And like yes, absolutely, brain you are correct. It didn’t have to be this bad, but look, I kind of don’t want to think about the winter during the spring. Learn from it?

Yes. Wine about it? I don’t think so.

Like I don’t know who I serve by being mad at people who don’t care that I am mad at them. Who don’t know I’m mad at them! So I’m trying to let go of that.

But that last reason my mind is discouraging me from feeling good is just the reality of the injustice of this disaster, of future disasters, of the world in general. Even absent pandemics or climate change or whatever, I worry and I wonder about the selfishness of the emotions that I’m feeling. So I’m thinking about what to do with that.

And here’s where I’m at right now. I don’t know if it’s where I’ll be at tomorrow. I think instead of asking myself, “what emotion is appropriate right now?” which seems like a labyrinth that I can enter and then never leave, I'm gonna I try to ask, “what am I feeling?

Why am I feeling it?” And is this an emotion that’s going to inspire depression or complacence, or like better action in the world? Positive impact on myself, my family, and the rest of everybody else. And if I feel like the feeling is going to improve things, for me and for the world,.

I’m not going to ask myself to stop feeling it. Even if it’s a nice feeling. And I’ll tell you, it’s nice to feel nice feelings.

That’s where I’m at right now anyway. John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.