Politics, for me at least, is not an emotive subject – a position that i know doesn’t necessarily ring true for many of my sl peers and acquaintances. On a number of occasions, i’ve looked on bemused as those around me have waded into one another, fiercely arguing their support, or otherwise, for whichever political party, representative or policy happens to be the moment’s hot topic. Perhaps it’s something to do with my nationality – one thing i’ve learned from sl is that Americans tend to take politics far more seriously than my Brit compatriots – and i’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but for someone who is somewhat more disengaged with the whole political process, i really can’t bring myself to get involved or to offer an opinion, most of the time.
That isn’t to say i have no views or allegiances when it comes to these things – i do, and i can happily debate such matters at length in rl, but i have no interest – absolutely none at all – in bringing such weighty matters into the virtual environment. You may disagree with me – that is your prerogative – but i’m sorry, i don’t give a stuff!
It doesn’t stop at politics for me, either. Whilst there will be occasions, usually with close friends in one-to-one discussion, i might be persuaded to debate the big issues of the day, most of the time i’ll stoically avoid reality as much as possible whilst inworld – as far as i’m concerned, sl is sl and the real world can just butt out until i’m ready to deal with it.
The same is true of the blog – it’s a rare thing indeed that you’ll find me writing about the pressing issues of the real world in anything like a serious tone. Wars may rage, atrocities may be committed, political systems may rise and fall, but you won’t find me expressing much of an opinion on any of it, much less writing about it in depth.
There is a reason for this – balance.
All of us will have either experienced or seen the effects of imbalance in our own, or the lives of others. An excess of sl can be a bad thing; so too can an excess of golf, alcohol, chocolate, work, religion and pretty much anything else you might care to mention. The vast majority of these things are actually pretty harmless in moderation, even good for us, but the larger the slice of our lives they take over, the more we need to consider what is balancing them out, if disaster is to be avoided. There is, for example, nothing at all wrong in working extremely hard – but there comes a point at which we also have to play hard, relax hard and work equally hard at spending quality time with our friends and families equally hard if we are going to be both truly productive and not enter into a spiralling downturn. Anything that occupies such a place in our lives that we cannot escape from it, or sufficiently suppress it to allow us to pursue other things is, i suggest, not good for us – we need to be able to balance out both sides of the life equation. In simple terms, life is no different to having a set of unbalanced headphones – the more dominated by one side they are, the poorer the quality and more distorted what we are hearing becomes.
It is all too easy for life to burn us out, grind us down, wear us out and trample all over us – we need something to balance out all the stress and demands that life imposes on us. It doesn’t matter what our particular escape is… be it music, driving, the odd tipple or lying in a bath surrounded by rose petals and candles – it is something we must try to do, albeit in appropriate moderation, (remember we’re aiming for balance, not abnegation of responsibility!). My own particular escape is sl – it’s where i go to escape the real world, and i do mean escape!
So, no… you’re unlikely to see me writing much about rl conflicts, the political scene or what’s going on in the real world, no matter how important it may be – there’s a time and a place for that – and, as far as i’m concerned, that time and place is not sl.
Similarly, when i’m inworld, don’t expect me to bring the outside world in with me, or to necessarily want you to ask me to express an opinion on it. Chances are that i’ll have far more important things to do, like trying on new outfits, or planting trees. And yes, i know those other, rl, things are important – but sl is my time to escape the important, the pressing and the distressing, and that’s the way it’s going to stay!
There is a winner in every place
There is a heart that’s beating in every page
The beginning of it starts at the end
When it’s time to walk away and start over again
Tom Waits – Walk Away