Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The war on drugs. The war on poverty. The war on crime. If we are going to declare war on things that we deem to be harmful to society, then I suggest we begin the war on reality immediately.
Think about it. What has reality ever done for us? Whenever a tragedy happens, people always refer to it as “a dose of reality.” If that is reality, then I want nothing to do with it. I think that we should start a campaign to stamp out that kind of reality for good.
Some of you may be thinking that stamping out reality means doing away with important things like love. How do people characterize love? They say that they feel like everything is surreal. They say that they feel like they are walking on clouds. I don’t know about you, but the ability to walk on clouds sounds pretty cool. I want that reality. I want to be able to really walk on clouds every time I think about the people I love.
The perception of reality is skewed by what you expect out of life. When you start building your dream home but it burns to the ground before it is done, then people just chalk that up to the harshness of reality. I find it disturbing that having someone’s dream home burn down before it is even completed is reality. Once again, I ask you, is that what you want for your reality?
When you have something extraordinarily good happen to you, people call that good fortune. When your life falls apart at the seams and you feel like you have nowhere else to turn, then people call that reality. Are you seeing the same pattern that I am seeing? Everything that is horrible is always associated with reality. That just sounds like a miserable way to live to me.
So, what do we have? We have a reality that is based on misery and gloom while fantasy is reserved for love and other good stuff. Why does mankind feel the need to constantly cause its own suffering? Why do we insist that reality must be difficult and painful? I guess I just don’t get it.
I propose a war on reality. How do we fight a war on reality when pain and suffering are part of the fabric of life? It is all about our perception of reality. When two people fall in love, then that is reality. That is just as real as the pain felt by a family that loses a loved one. Why can’t gaining a loved one be just as much of a reality as the loss of a loved one?
There will always be pain in the world. That cannot be avoided. But if we allow happiness and love to be just as much of a reality as pain and suffering, then we are shifting our perception of reality just enough to start making a difference.
Then there are those moments when reality and fantasy come crashing together and humanity reacts in the right way. When a home suddenly blows up and creates a horrible catastrophe for a family; then that is reality. But it is also reality when the community springs into action and collects money, clothing and a mountain of other supplies for the family members that are recovering from the blast. When the recovering family members come back home, the loss of their daughter is reality. But the love and support shown by the community is reality as well. I have heard the outpouring of support referred to as a dream. No folks, that kind of instantaneous and wonderful humanity is the kind of reality we all need.
Congratulations Wilson. You are my new model for what reality should be all over the world. The world news outlets reported the explosion and tragedy like some hoard of vultures looking to feed the world their version of reality. But the town of Wilson ignored the twisted version of reality and created its own. Did the world get to see the stadium filled with supporters of the family, or the racks and racks of clothes donated to the family by local businesses? No, the world didn’t get to see that. We in Western New York saw it, but the world was left with the tragedy. The world was left with its twisted sense of reality.
If that is the reality the world wants, then the world can have it. For me, I am proud to live in an area that consistently responds to tragedy in a way that is completely foreign to the rest of the world. Reality is good and bad. Reality is tragedy and triumph. Reality is the love shown by an entire community for a family that needs it desperately. That is reality here in Western New York. That is the kind of reality I will take over the world’s reality any day of the week.
In my war on reality, I nominate the town of Wilson as my war heroes.
God Bless You, Johnson family.
George N Root III is a Lockport resident and a figment of your imagination. You perceive that his column appears every Wednesday. The commonly held reality is that he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t count on it.George N Root III is a Lockport resident and a figment of your imagination. You perceive that his column appears every Wednesday. The commonly held reality is that he can be reached at email@example.com. Don't count on it.