0026: Three Tools To Help Make Sense Of The Senseless

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Hey there, hero!

We face daily challenges to the sense of order and control that we crave.

This goes for our work as performers, as well as social, political and emotional interactions. We’re faced with things we don’t understand, can’t control and can’t fix.

And it can be maddening, and make us lash out, or have others lash out at us.

(Just google “anti-mask” and click on the video results.)

I have three tools I’d like to share with you that might make things a bit more tolerable in a world that could use a bit more tolerance.

Let me know your thoughts below.


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  1. Hey thank you? David . I believe your right and I have fact checked some of the nonsense for the younger people I often come in contact with now to add in your 3 steps.Thanks again.

  2. Such a crucial skillset / philosophy to cultivate in our hyperconnected, oftentimes info-distorted landscape.

    As it was once pithily explained to me: “Have you ever noticed that when you have a terrible day and everyone’s a stubborn jerk, you’re always around?” ?

    Humility, curiosity, and a willingness to say (especially when it’s not worth arguing): “You might be right about that.”

  3. A visual reminder of all the things I learned from you is the little red sock cover for my microphone. Shortly after the advent of coronavirus and the emphasis on more consistent cleaning of items used by multiple people, the owner of the radio station where I work part time advised removing the windsock from the studio microphones. I thought about the little red sock I use in my home studio and bought a package of no-show socks for children. We now use a paper towel sprayed with a solution of bleach water to wash down microphones, switches, mouses (mice??), chairs, doorknobs, etc. after each use. The microphone then gets its very own little face mask in the form of the no-show sock, which of course is washable. I am also a volunteer for Audio Reader, a service for visually impaired individuals. We use the same procedure for our satellite studio. If you see me in public, there is a smile behind my face mask!

  4. Hi David, Thanks for the grounded words of wisdom.

    Firstly, I take your advice from a few years ago:
    Refrain from all political comment on social media, as a way to protect my acting career from judgement of potential clients, who may hold alternative views.

    Secondly, I limit myself to 2 hours of news per week. Yes, that is really it. All the truly important issues reach me.

    Thirdly, because I cannot do anything to change the difficult limitations of this time, I am utilizing the opportunity for personal projects, correspondences with those dear to me and self-improvement / self-preservation.

    The specifics are things like, making myself available to a friend, who is floundering at the moment, writing scripts for my own self-taping projects, taping those projects, cooking tremendously nutritious meals, updating computer systems and increasing my tech skills, yoga and meditation, viewing series and films exclusively in the genre I want to pursue professionally and making notes accordingly, educating myself on subjects I’ve had a curiosity about for a long time.

    Overall, I choose to be happy. For me that means learning, having a deep inner life and allowing myself to just kick back a bit, which perhaps many of us so seldom do. I don’t consider downtime a waste of time. It’s from a quiet place that I’ve always made the most sweeping and significant decisions and changes in my life.

    My glass is not half empty. My glass is not half full. My glass is brimming over.
    Wishing you and your subscribers the most enriching use of their time.

    1. Can’t agree more about avoiding the news & that if it’s really important you’ll hear about it. (Someone will likely text you, LOL.) I only get news from watching select clips of late night talk shows, where the news is heavily peppered with comedy.

      I also listen to stand up comics on YouTube as I shop, drive, prep meals, clean. Laughing is a delight & good for our health. Music can have the same effect. I often listen to a free Latin music app, that keeps me dancing’ thru the day! 🙂

      Staying positive is an effort these days, but the effort is worth it, so that we can move forward. 🙂

  5. I have one particular thing I can’t seem to get around, and that’s willful ignorance. What I mean by that isn’t “People are disagreeing with me and I don’t like it!” What I’m referring to is when people could be better but choose instead to be angry, stay misinformed, and be cruel. Two examples so–again–this isn’t about me being right.
    1) People I know who work in hospitals have been trying to very patiently share information they have learned and specific experiences they are having in their facilities and they’re being bullied in support of fear, anger, or conspiracy theories. I can’t really help these people, I just don’t know how to take deep breaths and idly stand by when someone I know is being bullied by someone who is being extremely ignorant.
    2) Readily available information discarded in favor of misinformation. I had a “How do you know this?” example here: someone I know shared a terrible news story about a Bill being examined by Congress. The story said some truly horrific things were in the Bill, insisted “You don’t have to read this folks! We read it, these words are there!” So I looked up the Bill. Read it in detail. Shared a link back to the actual document and patiently explained that the claims being made aren’t there (and specifically referenced where to find them).
    I’m being very patient with people and I’m (mostly) staying very quiet when I see people being terrible to each other. It’s difficult though because many of these conflicts seem needless and they’re putting people I care about at each others’ throats.
    I don’t want to sit still and watch the people around me detonate, but at the same time it seems like there’s not really any way I can defuse anything. Heck, there’s a strong possibility that at least one thing in this post has just made someone mad by reading it.

  6. I agree with all of your sound advice! It reminded me of my favorite quote from the old sage Lao Tzu “Just stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course…” from the Tao Te Ching. When we allow ourselves to become calm observers, detached from all outcomes, acceptance sets in and then we can more easily discern the facts from fiction. With all of the news swirling around us minute-by-minute in the form of quick headlines, endless posts and soundbites, we can often feel like a feather in the wind. So we tend to dig in, clinging to our fast-formed opinions, without the critical consideration that we might be jumping to ill-informed conclusions. It’s tough to navigate through all of this information in today’s fast-paced society, where lies are often stated as facts and discerning the truth has become a full-time job. But you are right… as Aristotle once said “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” I try to weigh all sides and ponder the different points of view presented. I also try to maintain an open mind and stay flexible. It’s important to do a gut check and ask yourself if you are indeed jumping to conclusions, and/or if you have all of the facts before you. It takes extra time and a mindful effort, but can certainly save a lot of heartache and frustration in the end. There is no doubt that we are all feeling quite vulnerable in these surreal and painful times—thank you for the timely talk!

  7. As always, David, you bring a calm, rational, and thoughtful approach to another of life’s challenges. Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your soul through this medium.