My father introduced me to the lone wolf theory as a child. He believed (still does) that people cannot be trusted. At 83-years-old, he has lived most of his life in a constant state of emotional solitude.
Over the past decade, social media has infiltrated the internet streets with clickbait slot machines, Vegas-style lighting, and all-you-can-eat negativity. It's a lot to digest, even if you love that sort of thing, but much like that one friend who takes, takes, takes and never gives back, that shit gets old real quick.
When all you see or hear is invalidating doom and gloom, it messes with your head. Instead of living our best lives, we end up trading them in for beat-up clunkers that won't start no matter how much coffee we pour down the tank.
Why do we do it to ourselves?
It took 53 years — a lifetime of abusive relationships and debilitating anxiety, a global pandemic, worldwide riots, fucking MURDER HORNETS, and an asteroid the size of the Empire State Building — for me to ask myself that question.
Fear is the result of a shift in power. It is what happens when we feel overturned, and if we don't do something to prevent ourselves from breaking any further, we will collapse.
The day after 9/11, I plopped down on the couch and whipped up a half-ass business plan in my head. Many of my friends, and pretty much my entire family, accused me of being insane after hearing about my spur-of-the-moment decision.
My reply: What have I got to lose?
Despite having no formal education or any experience running a business, I sketched a logo out on a bar napkin and began my journey into promotional marketing. It was the best decision of my life, a creative explosion that lasted ten years, putting me behind the imaginative wheel of some of the biggest companies in the world.
Civilization is raw and gritty; it has been this way since the dawn of time and will proceed until the end. As long as humans are in existence, global tension will ebb and flow. There will never be absolute harmony because no two people are the same, but here's what we can do to make it better: be kind, respectful, compassionate, patient, and open to new ideas. Listen when someone is talking instead of interrupting, and for crying out loud, relax.
A hundred years from now, 2020 will be a blip in history, another notch in a belt of universal discomfort. What is the message we want to see in those books? That we were right and they were wrong? That "Karen" is a stuck-up bitch with no sense of humor and bad hair? That being a bully is the only way to be heard?
The time has come to think for ourselves and listen to our guts. Don't let anyone tell you who you are because you already know. In the same spirit, don't pull that shit on anyone else. Evolution will happen whether we like it or not, but we get to choose — independently — which path is right for us, so pick one and keep moving. What have you got to lose?