I too have been put into a tailspin by recent events, and know that my spinning does nothing to help the world. I can learn a lot from Sue’s disciplined focus on the positive. I appreciate that she doesn’t deny the darkness but chooses to see the light as well.

Even a pretend smile
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California

There is much in the world these days that sends me into a tailspin: a man kills two people in a vigilante attack and is acquitted and another admits to raping and assaulting three young women and is given probation; another drove his car through a crowd killing and hurting people out watching a parade and a young boy the age of my grandson was killed by a stray bullet while sitting in his room playing video games β€” and those are just some of the most recent happenings. Each event brings a wave of fear, anxiety and incredulousness. Tears, too.  How have we, as a society, come to this? What can we do to alter the debasement of our world?

Time and time again, I teach myself how to cope in this world gone mad. I stand in front of the mirror and smile, knowing that even a pretend smile will impact my body. There are breathing exercises and meditations to do. I walk miles to clear my head. I watch the clouds and look for the flowers. Most importantly, I count my blessings.

As of today, my granddaughter has received her first jab. The rest of my circle of family and friends have been vaccinated and it is only a matter of time before they will receive their boosters. Those in the circle who contracted Covid were extremely fortunate, and while they experienced a hellish two or three weeks, all survived without need of hospitalization.

If not for the pandemic I would not have found a hairdresser who does an amazing job for less money and is closer to my home. Nor would I and my eyebrows have found the threader who is much more gentle and a few doors down from a new sushi bar.

Mr. Rogers told us to look for the helpers. They appear like angels when you least expect it. There is a group that started on Facebook, but now has its own app, β€œBuy Nothing New,” that not only redistributes things but has morphed into a true community of kindness. There are Doctors without Borders, and groups that feed people in need, sometimes thousands of them at a time. There are young people marching for the earth and for its people. People are doing more and more things to protect the planet and each other, and while there are events that are devastating and ugly, a spirit of hope and possibility still exists.

The trial taking place for the murder of Mr. Arbery is one of those devastating and ugly events. I pray that when the verdict comes down, justice will win out and peace will prevail, the angels will walk our streets, and I will not be in a tailspin once again.


  1. Thanks to Sue Robin for sharing the message that one can still think positively in the midst of negativity in this world! I share her perspective and always have. I find, though, that it is harder to have this point of view these days than in the past, but it is truly life saving when I can embrace the good things still happening in our world!

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