Can My Blog be the Good Place?

I started writing this blog yesterday and I lost it, it’s somewhere out there, better perhaps than what I’m about to write now, but I’m doing it anyway.

I wrote about television. I wrote about how I am working through the lovely Kerry Clare’s My Blog School and I am writing about things that I love. Television in general doesn’t make me happy but certain shows do. And those created by Mike Schur are among my favourites.

We have watched Parks and Recreation and The Office (American) with our boys who are 12 and 14. There are plenty of jokes about poop and sex (which ignite great discussions) but it’s for the character development that we watch them. It’s the writer’s way of pushing their characters to be kind, that we love.

My husband and I are watching The Good Place by ourselves because somethings need to just be for the adults. The show has a podcast for each episode, it’s usually an hour or so of various actors and writers from the show discussing that week’s plot. My favourite part is the end tradition where everyone has to say one thing at the moment that ‘is good’. It’s always something small and often can lead to guests (and me) getting choked up. Sometimes even the men (if you can imagine!)

Mike Schur and his team tend to write characters who wear their hearts their sleeves and the show’s motives are rarely subtle. But it works right now, no games. One episode lately spoke to something I’ve been thinking a lot about. It was about the need to accept that people are not ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’. Take my neighbours, they despise us and prove it often with their words and actions, but they also foster and train guide-dogs and I can’t not see that. If we don’t start recognizing this gap between people, it’s going to keep growing.

I’m not talking about the assholes who speak in the name of ‘freedom of speech’ as a means of spewing hatred and all the phobias and punching down. I don’t know, maybe they foster hamsters on the side, I don’t think I care. There is obviously a lot of hatred that is hard to see past.

Obama lately commented that:

The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids. And share certain things with you.”

The Op-ed about Obama’s view on cancel culture was seen as being pretty ‘ok boomer’ and wrote he was basically telling young people their activism was equivalent to casting stones. I doubt it was as simple as this however even if it was I think it’s something we need to seriously think about. I can’t be honest and say I don’t sometimes feel a little smug for having beliefs I know to be the ‘right ones’. And even if they are right (and I think they are) should I be able to feel superior over others instead of keeping my head down (instead of my nose up) and just keep doing the work that needs to be done?

The good line lately on The Good Place was that things don’t have to be good or bad, what matters is trying to do better today than you did yesterday. Again, perhaps another overly simplified and ‘easier said than done’ sentiment however (and back to blogging) something I love is trying to do better each day and trying to keep seeing things from different viewpoints even when it isn’t easy.

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