Taking a break from some of the noise
I had been looking forward to Sunday morning all week long. Finally a day without a single class to teach and a chance to sleep in! Needless to say, I was less than pleased to be awoken in the morning by the sound of “Testing, 1, 2, 3” booming in through my window. From the balcony, I looked down onto my small lane where a stage had been constructed and hundreds of stools were being set up for a political rally. "So much for a lazy Sunday morning lie-in," I thought as I frantically left the house amidst the gathering crowd and their chants. Not even two minutes of strolling the streets later, a large truck supporting a local candidate rolls by blaring music. Scrolling through my phone homepage as I waited for my coffee, the first 5 articles that pop up are all about the US mid-term elections or related to the strong opposition each side feels for one another.
Whether in the US or in Taiwan, it’s hard to get a break from the constant barrage of political news and opinions. And while it’s exciting to see democracy in action and really important to be informed about what’s going on, it becomes difficult to not get burnt out, cynical, angry, or apathetic when you have it in your face 24/7. Even outside of government and world affairs, how many have us have workplaces, friend circles, or families where “politics” and drama run rampant; places where we get distracted by who won’t work with whom, gossip,and holding grudges for things we often can’t even remember the root cause of?
In these times when people have more access to information and can share their views more easily than ever, it can come as a huge relief to take time to put down the phone, switch off the news and connect with others in simple ways--to focus on the things we have in common rather than the the ways our opinions and beliefs differ. To me, dance and music are some of those universal truths that help me feel refreshed, optimistic, and able to keep better perspective of challenges I see in my life and in the world. Here's hoping that you can find some time for peace and quiet amidst the politics of today!
整個禮拜我都在期待在週日早晨的到來，終於有一天休假可以讓我睡晚一點。當「Testing, 1, 2, 3」大聲地破窗而入把我從睡夢中吵醒，可想而知我的心情是如何。我走到陽台往下看，我家小小的巷弄已經擺設好一個舞台和上百張凳子，眼看一場選舉造勢活動即將開始。穿梭在聚集的民眾與口號呼喊中，『掰掰~ 我的愜意早晨~~』我邊想邊急忙地離開家。 在街上走不到兩分鐘，一台大型的競選宣傳車大聲地沿路撥放著音樂，在等咖啡的同時我滑著手機，前五則看到的文章都是關於美國中期選舉，或是一些相關的貼文寫著他們為何不贊成另一方的政見或觀點。
不論是在美國或是台灣，都很難逃過這樣政治新聞或觀點的持續轟炸。看到現在進行式的民主行動很令人興奮，了解到時事與執政狀況也非常重要，但同時，當你一周 7 天、一天 24 都被迫不停面對時，讓人很難不感到筋疲力、憤世嫉俗、憤怒或麻木不仁。即使在政府或是國際事務之外，我們之中有多少人，不論是在工作場合、朋友圈或是家裡面，「聲權奪勢」或 「肥皂劇」正在失控地上演 ------ 誰不想和誰一起工作、八卦、或是因大家都忘記的事情記恨在心 ------- 這些讓我們分心的事。
( Anna Liang 譯 )