by Steve Bivans
Despair is a killer.
Negativity is a sucking whirlpool of piss.
Have you ever been in a great mood, or at least a good one, then decided, “You know what, I’m going to troll through Facebook and see what’s happening with my friends.”?
I shouldn’t though. It’s a disco strangler of good days. It’s the Ted Bundy of good moods. One minute you’re cruising along and the next you’re chained in a moldy hole in someone’s basement, waiting to be transformed into some psycho’s personal Halloween mask, metaphorically speaking, mind you.
I swear, they need to make an app for Facebook that has little electrodes hooked up to our private parts, so when we see some idiot spouting off about something he really doesn’t know jack shit about, as soon as we reach for the keyboard, it sends 110 volts coursing through our dis-functioning erectiles, or better yet, through HIS, before he posts it to begin with.
Why can’t I just let stuff like that go?
I feel compelled to post a rebuttal to idiotic posts on Facebook. Why do I do this? The fucked up thing, is that it usually screws up my entire day. Then I start to wonder about whether one person, like myself, or anyone else, can ever hope to ‘Save the Earth,’ even together as a bunch of hobbits.
Trolling through political posts on Facebook can quickly turn you into a Denethor, the old, crabby, steward of Gondor, father of Boromir and Faramir, sitting in his cold tower of Ecthelion, high above Minas Tirith, gazing into the Palantir Stone watching the armies of Sauron moving towards us. Facebook can be just like the Palantir; sometimes what you see might be good news, but more often than not, it’s doom and gloom. It’s paralyzing. What can anyone hope to do against so much stupidity, ignorance, greed, apathy, and fear? This is a recipe for despair. Which is why we need that electrode app.
It is easy to despair when confronted with the enormous task of cleaning up our planet. There are so many problems, and so much damage to undo. It’s true. It boggles the mind just how much damage we have done in just a few hundred years, not to mention the last 5000 or so.
But Don’t Despair Denethor. Why not?
Mainly because it will not help. Despair did Denethor no good, nor did his despondency help those under him who were trying to resist the evils of Sauron. His attempt to commit suicide, along with Faramir, distracted Gandalf at a key moment during the siege of Minas Tirith. The wizard’s efforts were needed on the fields of the Pelennor (where Theoden, Eomer and Merry were confronting the Black King of Angmar), instead Gandalf had to leave the gates of the city to rescue Faramir from his father’s insanity.
It is understandable to be overwhelmed by the problems confronting our Earth. It is difficult to get one’s mind around sometimes. But remember, Frodo was feeling the same thing, probably every single step he took towards Mordor and the fiery Mount Doom. He did not stop walking however. As Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re walking through hell, keep walking.”
And, Frodo was not alone. Neither are we.
Frodo had a group of companions along side him. Closest was Sam of course, walking step by step with him, the entire way. Nothing ever got between Frodo and Sam, and we all need a Sam in our lives. If you haven’t found yours, keep looking. We have other companions though: Merrys and Pippins. We also have lots of Aragorns, Boromirs, Faramirs, Gandalfs, Gimlis and Legolases, all out there fighting on our behalf, and for the protection of our Middle Earth. I stress this again, you are not alone. If you want some examples, check out the Hobbit Hero articles, here and here.
The Trick to Shedding Negativity, and keep you from going ‘Gimli’ on Facebook morons…or setting yourself on fire in your family crypt…
So the other day, thanks to Facebook, and a political post that I read, I was despairing about the Be a Hobbit project. The same questions kept creeping into my mind. Why am I doing this? Does anyone even give a damn? How can I hope to make any difference against all that negativity out there? Finally, I had to kick myself, and realize that I had other hobbits I could rely on, so I called up Monk.
Monk is a hobbit. A Tookish one for sure, and sometimes a bit dwarvish, like myself, which is why I love the guy. No, Monk is not his given, birth name, but that’s what we all call him. Monk is an old veteran—literally, he’s a Vietnam Vet—who has seen a lot of crap in his lifetime. I won’t go into his personal story, but let’s just say he’s one tough old hobbit, who manages, somehow, to keep his sense of humor, though it has been tried to the point of breaking more than once.
So I called up Monk to talk a few days ago. He answered, after letting it ring about 20 times–he’s a slow hobbit–and said, “Helloooo Hobbit!” I like that, though I wasn’t feeling particularly hobbity at the moment. So we exchanged pleasantries and then I told him I was trying to dispel some negativity and a bit of despair. Monk also has a degree in psychology, and was a school guidance counselor for about 20 odd years, so he’s pretty good at this kind of crap. I told him that I had made the mistake of being drawn into a negative conversation on Facebook, which had ruined my mood for a couple of days.
So Monk cheered me up right? Nope.
Monk then agreed with me, and started ranting and raving about being drawn into the same kind of crap, for about 5 minutes he was ranting…and then I interrupted him to say, “Dude, I called YOU to cheer ME up!” To which he started laughing. Then I said, “Shit, where is Kitty’s number? Maybe I should call her!” Kitty is another old friend of mine, and Monk. She’s the type who pretty much never complains about anything. She’s kind of a walking elven, Zen mistress, Druid priestess girl, who sings.
Monk started laughing, and me too, and then we began to talk about my project and the blog, and some books I was reading, and how the Shire Movement, and other revolutions of the mind were going to take off in the future, and by the time I hung up, I was in a much better mood. Also, I was drinking beer. I forgot to mention that. That usually helps too, and is also very hobbity.
So if you feel yourself starting to despair, stop. Please, please, please lean on your Sams, Merrys and Pippens. Call up your hobbit friends and lay it on them. They will help to turn you around and keep you marching onward. If that doesn’t work then for the sake of your family and friends, if not yourself, reach out to a professional counselor, or doctor. Stay with us, we need all the help we can muster to win the fight against the Saurons and Sarumans of this Earth.
(I want to dedicate this post to the late, great Robin Williams, who, while bringing everyone around him–incuding his fans–up, fell into despair and was consumed by it. If ever there were a hobbity soul on this Earth, it was his. My words are too weak to express my sorrow at such a loss, so I will rely instead, on another late, great: Professor J.R.R. Tolkien, from the parting words of Aragorn to his fallen comrade, Boromir,
“You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at Peace! Minas Tirith shall not fail!”