Old Woman, Little Girl

There are a few real paradoxes within me. I don’t know whether or not most people are consistent or paradoxical, so I have no way to know whether or not I am normal. As such, I just accept this as a neutral situation. So what am I talking about?

Well, on one hand, I have pretty much always been a pessimist, and as a child, I wrestled with issues like greed vs. starvation- that we will never provide food for everyone in the world because people are inherently selfish. In elementary school, I laid awake thinking about this kind of thing. Even now, I feel like I am carrying the emotional burdens of a very old woman, one who has lost many people and seen enough pain to become jaded and weary.

On the other hand, I have never stopped watching cartoons and moved on to television meant for adults. I really love brightly colored heroes, fighting against the odds, becoming friends with their teammates, growing stronger, and winning against powerful bad guys. I love these simple stories, and at least thus far, I haven’t tired of superheroes, giant robots, magical girls, ninjas, and talking ponies. In this way, I have a lot in common wih a 7 year old.

So, why the dissonance? It’s pretty simple, I think. A lot of people use entertainment to fill in gaps in their lives- watching exciting shows to offset a dull career, marinating in lusty stories to counteract loneliness, and so on. But I am tired of violence- I have studied too much war, genocide, and murder; realistic violence is not thrilling. And I have seen the scars caused by lust and its corresponding low self esteem; I prefer not to reopen old wounds by watching promiscuous characters. Foul language is usually excessive, like too much salt in an otherwise tasty soup. So where can I find stories without war, sex, language, violence, and the pain that permeates this world?

Kids’ shows. For 30 blissful minutes, I can escape to another world where kindness is genuine, where the lines between good and evil are artificially clear, where people are supportive, where the world can be saved, and where things really will get better after they get worse. I can forget famine, disease, poverty, war, rape, incest, assault, arson, theft, hate speech, mutilation, and other horrible realities for just a short time… and in that short time, I can enjoy life.

It’s depressing to write this, since there really are a lot of painful things in the world, and it’s so easy to focus on them and lose sight of any positive things. I’ll try again to believe in the world, guys. Just give me time.


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