Not too long ago, I heard an amazing episode of “On the Media”, broadcast on NPR. They talked about nihilism, mostly throughout history, although addressing some feelings that our collective society has gone to hell, that nihilism is on the rise.
I’ve never been a nihilist (another reason I’ve been a mediocre punk) because I think people caring is the only reason to keep going; doing good for each other, informing yourself and others, keeping the world in mind is a force, one I’ve never completely lost faith in.
However, this episode talked about the idea of “political nihilism“, when one stops caring about politics in society, feeling its meaningless to care, because no change is possible. I feel this way more and more.
An egregious example of the head-slapping rhetoric killing most peoples’ desire to care is the newest GOP ad. You can see it here with a transcript. Even if I agree with some republican platforms (smaller government sounds pretty great, until you couple it with the nasty implications it would have for minority groups), things like this make it impossible for me to do so. See also: smaller government except for the uterus!
Sometimes our problems seem so big they can’t be overcome, and this is coming from a fairly privileged cis, straight, white American woman. Staying involved and staying positive is the hardest and most important work we have to do, to have any hope of change. But it’s not easy to stay positive.
“Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” The enemy is not evil, it’s apathy.
SO, in the interest of staying positive and ending on a good note, here’s your anti-nihilism playlist (and pictures!). Remind yourself today that they world is worth caring about.
Leave yours in the comments, and have a great week!