Tag: human beings.

There are a ton of things going on in the world that bother me. They range from mildly inconvenient intrusions into my daily life to global demigods that threaten the end of our existence. The everyday intrusions I’m learning to deal with. What’s harder is the wave of moderate to high, national and global issues that inundate my mind at the speed of light. Literally, light carrying information from the multitude of screens I’ve allowed to infiltrate my existence directly into my thought stream. I’m angry with many things people do in my world. Rather than list them all, I can sum them up into two very simple actions. 1. People treating others without compassion. 2. People treating their world with contempt.

Within this constant download of outrage from social media and the 24/7 news cycle, there is one person in the world who is damaging us all by relentlessly surfing the waves of light we recklessly allow to flow into our view. I’m angry with the world for not only allowing it but for propagating it. I don’t even want to use his name because that’s what he wants. Instead, I’m going to refer to him as The Great Disruptor.

The Great Disruptor, via traditional and social media, is destroying our thought patterns. His every move, great or small, is reported in a way that no other world leader has been subject to and the constant appearance of stories related to him, the constant disruption is corrupting normal thought processes. It’s very important to respond appropriately to the outrageousness of his actions, but equally, it’s important to remove him from our stream of consciousness as a constant form of unpredictable energy. The Great Disruptor needs to be compartmentalised. His intrusion into our consciousness should not be at the expense of caring about other people or self-nurturing. The Great Disruptor aims to leverage our fear as he aims to validate his self-worth by the accumulation of wealth and power.

By disrupting our thoughts, by intruding into our conversations, by infiltrating our social media feeds as well as our mental processes he is taking our thoughts away from where they can do the most good. He is undermining our ability and our right to create a sense of self-security.

I like to think I have a strong will, but I’ll admit I’ve been mentally fractious since The Great Disruptor came to prominence. My peace of mind is slowly and surely being eroded. But now that I can see the negative influence of the constant news stream I can take steps to disrupt the Great Disruptor. For me, this is taking the form of reading less news and reconnecting with what’s happening in the immediate world around me. I’m turning off the internet and phone for a few hours every day and when they are back on engaging with them less.

We can and should have our moments of protest. They are vital. Our voices can and will change things. But along the way, it’s essential to also protect our thoughts. To allow ourselves the time and space to evaluate and to contemplate. We can grow meaning in our lives and hold true to what is of real value when we tune out the noise. And right now, The Great Disruptor is simply the noisiest child in the room. We can’t allow his cries for attention to be our undoing.

Evan Shapiro
Author – Road To Nowhere

I have an itchy spot on my right calf. It’s probably mild eczema. I have seen the doctor who has referred me to a skin specialist but I’m yet to follow-up on that appointment. Dr Google says it could be one of eighteen conditions. I’m ruling out some of the nastier probabilities on the basis that there are no other symptoms and if it was something really nasty then I’d probably actually feel sick or it would have gotten a lot worse by now. In the meantime, I don’t always notice it but occasionally it gets insanely itchy and I find myself scratching the hell out of it. My sensible voice says, 'don't scratch, go and find out what it is and get it treated'. The sooner the better as the unknown can often be more problematic than the known.


So that’s my leg, and apart from it registering itchy sensations, it’s strangely giving me a little perspective. I mean, it’s itchy, it’s been itchy for a year and yet I’m so slow to act. Like everyone, I’m so caught up in everything else I’m doing that I keep telling myself I don’t have time to see a doctor. It’s just an itch and everything will be ok, surely? Well I actually do think it will be ok, but what if I do nothing and in another year it isn’t just an itch? While I continue to do nothing about it, my annoying itch makes me think, ‘Is the increase in global temperatures just the world’s itchy leg? Why do we ignore the obvious until it’s too late to do anything about it?


I’m calling the specialist today and making that appointment. I can’t expect anyone else to listen to my resolutions if I don’t act on them myself. I don't want to lose the argument with myself and wind up not having a leg to stand on. Perhaps you have something of your own you should be getting checked? The world does, and while we are very busy living our lives we are missing the obvious. If we don’t take care of ourselves and where we live then this whole thing is going to be over much faster than any of us might like to think. Forget about not having a leg, I'd really like to keep having a world to stand on. 


Evan Shapiro
Author – Road To Nowhere

The other day I heard a conversation on the radio about loneliness. In the program, an expert was discussing the difference between being alone and being lonely. Many people rang in with great ideas about how to stay connected. This is particularly concerning for older people who are increasingly finding themselves isolated in our society. I didn’t get a chance to call in but I wanted to because basically, I don’t get lonely. Well, I don’t anymore.

There are different kinds of loneliness and probably much like you, I’ve experienced many of them. I can recall being an angst-ridden and lonely teen. No one understood me, no one was ever going to understand or love me. At times that felt very cold and dark, but I always had a love of movies, books and music and could lose myself in those joys. It was also quite untrue as I had very good friends and a caring family. I wasn’t alone often but still there were times I convinced myself that I was lonely. In my teenage mind not having a girlfriend was definition enough to feel lonely, to feel I didn’t fit with social norms.

As an adult I’ve experienced a number of different personal relationships, some longer than others, some intense, others relaxed, committed, non-committal and the annoyingly undefinable. Regardless, I’ve come to see that for me the greatest sense of feeling lonely was the experience of lying next to someone and being completely disconnected from them. And after a number of relationships that didn’t work out I felt the loneliness of being on my own. For a time I wallowed in a sense of rejection, but then I recalled the sense of loss and disconnection with others and realised it was actually myself I was disconnected from. I took the opportunity of being single as a time to have a relationship with myself. I did things for myself that I would do for someone I was in a relationship with. I took myself to nice places, I made myself good food, I bought myself things I knew I would really like.

I enjoyed being with myself and I completely stopped being lonely. I came to a point where I was content to be alone but open to being in a relationship if it was equal to or better than being on my own. Ironically that state of being attracted a like-minded person and I find myself now in a wonderfully connected relationship. While we greatly value time with each other we also value time to ourselves and we understand that if things were to change it’s our connection to ourselves that underpins a sense of well-being.

We are social beings and we are also extremely suggestible. Our society continually pumps out messages about what is normal, what you should be feeling, thinking and doing. It’s no wonder we feel lonely when our lives don’t match up to the image being projected. But ultimately loneliness is a state of mind and it’s directly related to how we see ourselves and how we think society sees us. Connecting with others is an essential part of our social interactions, but connecting and remaining connected to ourselves could quite possibly be the best remedy for loneliness we’ve got.

Evan Shapiro
Author – Road To Nowhere