Way too much of my life is spent around destructive forces.
At work, I have the good fortune </sarcasm> to receive a lot of complaints–it’s not my job, but due to several not-very-good reasons, a lot wind up in my court. These complaints are often not fair, and often not right, and I suspect, often not even real complaints. Many of my complainants seem to be making contact solely more for the pleasure of writing a strongly worded letter, or insulting someone they know can’t insult them back, or just the opportunity to blame someone for how they feel like a victim.
My co-workers, frankly, aren’t much better. Perhaps they aren’t as aggressive in their nastiness, but there’s an insidious destructiveness to their attitudes. They have all been at the employer for quite a long time, 20-plus years, and their primary concern is covering their own backsides by following 20-plus-year-old procedures, rather than analyzing the current situation and making decisions based on that. I don’t completely blame them for that–uncovered tails at my employer can have serious consequences–but the long-term effect of this stagnation has been incredible decay.
Needless destructiveness is rampant in society, though. My mother and I, for example, disagree on politics. Last time I responded to one of her comments (which was factually untrue and incredibly easy to identify as such), she told me I should never speak to her again. I apologized, which didn’t destroy the family and did destroy me. A few days ago she sent another political e-mail, and, well, there aren’t any good options here.
But none of that is the point.
Last weekend was the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum‘s Bugapalooza event. It was really hectic, but probably my favorite day volunteering there. The kids who came to the museum were really into it. Several parents made exhausted but proud asides about how obsessed their children are about bugs. And some of the most intriguing and in-depth questions I’ve fielded in my time there came from kids that day.
And when I left, I could only think how much better those kids are than pretty much anyone else I deal with. Nastiness and destruction are easy, and they’re worthless. These kids maybe aren’t creating yet, but they’re interested, which means that they’re likely to start creating before too long.
It’s harder, but it’s also the only thing that’s right.