As any regular readers will know (if there are any!), I didn't post last week. I just couldn't seem to summon any energy. As the summer approached, I had begun to feel I was running on empty.
But then I saw a post by Alan Cumming on Instagram (@alancummingsnaps). It was in relation to the recent Pride events but his post talked of all the struggles going in the world at the moment. The racism, sexism, religious intolerance. Here is a little of what he said:
We live in scary times. It's hard to maintain the level of outrage with so many outrageous things happening daily, hourly, and the fight can seem exhausting. the other day a wise woman posited that 'persist' is as important, if not more, than 'resist' as a mantra.
This really strikes a chord with me. And not just for persistence in the political and social struggles. I have struggled for many years with depression. Relatively low level but enough to cause me periods of real difficulty. I know far better now when these are upon me but it can be hard to regain the upper hand.
But when you hear about the everyday struggles that so many people are dealing with, you feel bad for not coping better with your own somewhat cushy existence. For example, in The Times magazine on Saturday (15 July), there was a piece about the Fitzmaurice family. The headline was My husband can only communicate with his eyes, via a computer. If that doesn't put teenaged tantrums, constant clearing up woes and general 'being fed up' into context, I don't know what will. Ruth Fitzmaurice has a husband with Motor Neurone Disease and five children under twelve. (I will definitely be reading her book I Found My Tribe.)
Persistance is something which we often forget we have. We in the developed world often have such comfortable existences that when we see refugees on the oceans, people displaced in war zones, people dealing with extreme poverty or illness, it is hard to believe that we ourselves could ever survive such ordeals. We wonder aloud at the resilience of others.
Because the need for persistence and resilience has been taken away. We don't have to hunt or gather. Our problems are of a different nature. But we, as humans, do have the resilience. If pushed, we would all do whatever it took to survive for the longest possible time. Our ancestors performed miracles with a lot less creature comforts around them.
So how about we channel some of that dormant persistence and resilience into continuing the fight for a better world. And for myself, I will also be channelling some of that into feeling better and into counting my blessings a bit more often (even whilst arguing with the teen and the tween!).