by Genevieve Mellott
What is real? What is meaningful? If you had asked me those questions a few years ago, I might have pointed out some heavy news stories. I might have thought about the meaning of life or something philosophical. It often seems the concepts of reality and meaning carry a very serious connotation.
Yet, a year ago I decided to start a magazine. If I wanted a dose of supposed “reality,” I could have reaped tons of material from conversations on social media. That would have been easy. Controversy is normal. But ask anybody who knows me – I’m not normal. Nor am I an eternal optimist. (With my level of sarcasm, I can be pretty good at infuriating people.) I had a choice. I could risk doing something different from the times at hand or play into the surge of panic, politics, and division.
You’re looking at the seventh bimonthly issue of Carbon Valley Life; I count it as proof that people need positive realism. That means dream while acknowledging your circumstances and do what you can to move past negative hangups. “The Dog Days of Summer” issue is a tribute to a local reality: our Valley people have tons of pets. The theme also sounds like I feel during summer: tired and invigorated all at the same time. The fact is pets, even though they chew our shoes or get hairballs or molt in their cages, make people happy. They truly add something positive to our lives.
There’s an old tech idea: “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” It refers to entering bad coding or data into computers, but it is also true with individuals. If all we put into our minds is darkness and hurt and hate, what comes out of our lives is often a mess. GIGO. What if we take things into our minds that are hopeful and helpful and inspiring? Well, when it’s time for us to give back, those are the kinds of things we are putting back out into the world.
I want to humbly leave you with a couple of truths that have taken me way too long to learn. First, don’t confuse “uplifting” with “uneducated” or “shocking” with “enlightened.” Second, have an opinion along with the sense to know you’re not the only person entitled to one. Wisdom comes with talking about important things in respectful ways.
This publication isn’t journalistic gold. However, status as provocative or explosive doesn’t guarantee a thing is meaningful and real. I hope that the information you take away from our little local magazine, even when the issues are fun and lighthearted, is meaningful and real to you because that’s what matters. Thank you for being part of it. And until next time, enjoy the read.