Tonight, I am sad.
This was written for elephant’s weekly magazine.
I am tired. But not too tired—happy to take care of my aching, tight shoulders and eat another dinner alone (I’ve worked all day and night, again, giving my tickets to a huge community event up to friends). But work doesn’t make me sad—it’s an honor to do this work, I love it, and I love you who want to be of benefit.
I am sad because elephant has, thanks to Facebook’s algorithm and a change in strategy, dropped 55% in readership. Without you, dear readers of our curated newsletter, we would be almost nothing.
I am sad because I have worked so hard, for 14 years, night and day, 7 days a week, to create something of real benefit, day in and day out. And now it’s falling away.
I am sad because, whether it’s the sale of a beloved community cafe in Boulder to tech friends, or the sale of a peanut butter company of a friend of mine, dialogue seems to be partisan, angry, or PR-ish, fake, happy, all positive in a hollow sense. There is little room for constructive, honest criticism–for real friendship.
I am sad because this world seems to be full of “wisdom” that tells us to reject ourselves, to be something other, something better. I am sad because our culture demands palm oil, plastic, speed, sex…without regard for compassion, for love, for justice. We all know the drill—we’ve heard all of this before.
I am sad because we have heard all this before, and our reaction is to escape, to relax into depression instead of relaxing into cheerfulness, into doing something about it. I am sad because “People watch Netflix more than they hang out with their friends, exercise, and read—combined.”
But, yet, I am heartened because community still matters. I have so many friends who show up to City Council and speak with passion, yet kindness. I am heartened because I—tired and defeated as I am—will rise again tomorrow, and greet the day, and work hard again. I am heartened because there is so much kindness, and gentleness, and honesty, in so many corners of this world where greed and environmental aggression have not yet made their way.
I am heartened because of you. You who care enough to read, and contemplate, and learn, and write, and share, and lead lives of mindful bravery. Good luck out there, sweethearts!