Saturday, May 02, 2015

Wadling into Walking

Most of us are busy. We choose to focus on something and get on with it. We fill in the gaps with a feeling that all the things we aren't looking at are ok. For a lot of people, having to worry about anything more than getting to the end of the week's tasks is simply not on the cards. Job. Family. A bit of exercise. Some food in the gaps. Sleep. And perhaps something to look forward to on the weekend.

What pulls it together is Mojo. A story that makes sense of the world. A story that gives some substance to the parts we don't understand. We don't want this story to be fake and so I think the things that make the news are often the things that cause us to worry that our story is wobbling. That give us doubt. Since we are pretty resilient, I think we are also fond of a good whine. If the gaps between our areas of control feel so huge, we gain comfort in repeatedly saying how huge they are to our buddies. We're all doomed. Another glass. We're all doomed. Another glass.

One of the reasons our wadling [(We're all doomed)ling] works is because we don't take a step back and look at the big picture. In 'The Better Angels of our Nature', Steven Pinker does that. We are conquering our prejudice and becoming better people. The strongest counter-argument to this comes from environmentalists and those who say that things 'seem' better, but the risks are more concentrated. Things could go wrong in a calamitous fashion. Another World War would wipe us all out. Those risks are real and I agree we have to become better custodians of our planet. But us becoming better is the first step towards that. It all starts with little stories.

The trend of the little stories requires Mojo. It requires us to come together and celebrate how awesome it is to be alive. Two guys doing that are John McInroy and Robert Le Brun. They set out yesterday on foot from Cape Town to the start of the Comrades Marathon in Durban. This is not a race. This is not supposed to be some awe inspiring feat. They are going on foot so that they can walk with real people all across the country. So they can hear stuff. Not the stuff that makes the news, but the stuff that makes the people that makes the Mojo that makes us move. Forward.

That is the stuff that matters. The reason people are focusing on their jobs and their families is they want a good life. We all do. A sprinkle of Mojo can turn our Wadling into Walking.

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