Economically, and therefore culturally, the planet is a mess. Way too many nations are on the brink of revolution, starvation, oppressive war by authoritarian governments or destructive, violent, militarized guerilla groups. Human rights are declining – including in the United States. More rapidly the assets of the world are being sucked into the secret coffers of the planet’s oligarchs. In the US, children are routinely shot; across the Middle East women are brutalized.
Further, in the book “The Network State” by Balaji Srinivasan, he lays out how ‘nation states’ will be replaced by internet-enabled ‘network states’ run from the Cloud.
This universe sucks.
Our saving Grace is in the universe of hobbies. The hobby universe has different physical laws. For example, time flows at arbitrary rates controlled by the hobbyist; global dynamics simply don’t exist; hobby ambition and success are forces in the atmosphere and with a good location, the troubled universe completely disappears.
But one must be serious about this path. One needs a noncritical subject in which to invest serious attention and dedication. The whole object of the hobby universe is to escape the troubled universe, to forget everything except the target of one‘s hobby. Before all other thoughts and emotional interests, except for family and very close friends, the hobby is foremost in one’s mind.
Give a moment to consider what noncritical activity has drawn unusual interest in the past; what interesting thing floats in your mind during casual moments? Perhaps you are fortunate to have a hobby but haven’t made it the most important activity in your daily routine.
Once the hobby is chosen, it requires religious intensity, a desire to engage in the hobby at every chance. There are many subjects that are common for hobbyists: one thinks immediately of handiwork such as woodworking, pottery, glass blowing, metalwork, restoration of an object, art, weaving or building furniture.
There are activity hobbies like gardening, fishing, competitive biking, stock car racing, canoeing, hiking, camping, golfing and neighborhood sport leagues. There are social hobbies like working for charity building homes, cooking meals and providing transportation. Intellectual hobbies include activities like reading, becoming a world class expert on the dung beetle or mastering a new musical instrument; perhaps private tutoring or a part time librarian. If one has room, animal husbandry.
The key, however, is to walk through the warp door into the other universe. Desire. Determination. Curiosity. Achievement. As the old Eddy Arnold standard says, ‘Make the World go away’.