What Happens When There’s Nothing Left to Lose?

A short while ago, I took an evening off from HC duty and saw the legend Bob Dylan. I had a front row seat, right by the stage, close enough to see every tuft of hair on his wild and wooly head.

To my surprise, Mr. Dylan started the show with one of my favorite songs – a gem from the soundtrack of an early 2000’s movie called “Wonder Boys.” The movie dealt with a college professor, played by Michael Douglas, consumed by a raging midlife crisis. The song starts out with the lyrics…”A worried man with a worried mind. Nothing in front of me and nothing behind.”

It goes on to tell the tale of a man having an anything goes evening; not caring whether the sun comes up and on an inevitable path of destruction.

The chorus of the song chants – “People are crazy and times are strange. I’m locked in tight. I’m out of range. I used to care but things have changed.”

This particular Dylan ditty has stuck with me for years and I have turned to it in my own times of confusion and darkness. While the man in the middle of the crisis is “not so eager to make the mistake” of following his friends and “jumping into the lake,” he’s clearly on the verge of making a catastrophically bad decision.

It seems that the world of late, has been on the same type of path, destined to make one bad decision after another until, maybe, just maybe, planet Earth herself decides she no longer cares about her inhabitants.

The most dangerous place to remain in is in a state of not caring anymore. Growing numb, building a shield around one’s sanity is a way to cope temporarily, but over time, the threads of worry return, building into a mountain of self-doubt.

In college, I read a short story called “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” written by Ursula Le Guin. The professor asked us to summarize our position on what we would do, should we wake up in Omelas, a city that is perfect, a pristine and glorious town where all is dazzlingly right. But, it is far from that. You see, the city works on balance – all the good exists because of the single misery of one child. Good can only happen if this one child experiences pain, anguish and neglect. At the time, I took the position of walking away and wrote a lengthy prose about why that was the most noble thing one could do – simply not participate in the tragedy.

HC and I like to spend our free time together, turning down the noise, living in our own Utopia. But, we know Omelas is out there. And, we deal with it by bringing some light and humor to the world through Hippie Chick’s Right Foot Up Life.

It’s our way of not walking away, of deciding that we still care.

As long as there’s a place on the planet for a fat cat and the girl who loves her, we’ll be just fine. And, so will you.

There’s room for all of us and a million reasons to still care. A million reasons to not forget.

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