A Happy Medium

Positive and negative vibes are a powerful force. I’ve noticed this a lot with this extra free time that social distancing has brought, and it’s given me a lot of time to examine my own thoughts.

I spent the first half of my “quarantine” consuming the news during every waking moment. I would watch 30 minutes of a big network and then switch to a different one. The general consensus between mid-March and April: things. are. bad. People are dying. People my age are dying. Coming up at 7:00, an interview with a 30 year-old woman who just lost her husband who, before COVID, was in completely good health. I found myself feeling down, a lot. I was the guy in the group text, “Numbers don’t look good in China today. If they go back up, we’re screwed.” We watched the press conferences for maybe three weeks straight during dinner. I was obsessed. I was depressed.

So I turned off the news, bought a bike, spent a lot of time outside, and changed the vibes I was letting into my mind. And then something predictable happened: I was happier. I felt more creative. I started working on new projects. I started writing more. I started feeling good again.

But is it a good thing to be so removed from the real world?

This disconnect from the news meant that I didn’t see the George Floyd video until Thursday. I had the same reaction that everyone has had, and I have really struggled to put my thoughts into words. I’ve gone to bed at 2:00am the last three nights because I have been watching streams of the protests from across the country in disbelief.

How did we get here? Where do we go from here? I think a lot of people, for the first time in their lives, are realizing that recovery from this might not mean reverting to how society was at any point in the past. We need legitimate change. And that legitimate change seems extremely daunting, and has politicians, billionaires, lawyers, doctors, and our community leaders without any concrete ideas. Every night, I have seen protesters debate each other about the change they want to see and how to achieve it.

What are we supposed to do?

Well, what if we did what we can do?

What if, instead of everyone trying to figure out the solution to these seemingly insurmountable problems, we tried to make the part of the universe that we individually operate in a better place? What would it look like for me to focus more of my energy on helping people of color who are struggling to enter the realm of esports for whatever reason, to ensure that we see more diversity in one of the fastest growing industries there is? That’s something that I can personally do today, tomorrow, and the next day, to help increase the diversity in the space.

I bet you can think of one thing you can do to positively impact relationships with people of color in the United States this week. Voting doesn’t count. Waiting for new policy doesn’t count. What counts is you changing the part of the world that you can, even if you think it’s a small gesture.

Turning off the news for a few weeks was an escape from reality, and it was great for my mental health. What I’ve learned over the last few days, however, is how blessed I am to be able to do this. And now I am going to take those positive vibes that I found when I was disconnected and use them to make a positive change in my part of this universe.

 
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