Word of the Week: MILD
Mild, as in gentle, patient, soft-spoken. Unfrenzied. A state more rare than one might suppose. Try and be all of those simultaneously or even in succession. Yet mild seems the true low-key antidote to rage, outrage, umbrage, any knee-jerk response to what displeases us. Let it go. Choose your battles. Taking huge and noisy offense as a chronic state cannot be good for any organs. Even as a witness and not a participant, it causes me discomfort.
Balance may be one of the virtues. It indicates a sturdy steadiness, a skill which I picture being practiced just as any acrobatic art, over and over with numerous missteps. Arriving at mild by way of extreme seems the natural path. To be peaceful in the midst of escalating chaos may appear to indicate a state of being unclear on the concept. Why aren't you shouting? Because someone needs to find and hold the quiet center, someone needs to remember proportion, someone needs to be the water that silently and subversively wears down the rock.
Mild might be called an ideal, a desired but nearly unreachable state, an aspiration. My experiment will be this: to see how many times I don't lose my cool in the course of a day, a normal day of TV news, Internet witlessness, ordinary things going wrong. Mild is not a synonym for uncaring, for anaesthetized, for MIA. At best it can help keep the roar quieted, the rhetoric more civilized. A one-sided argument is a bullying soliloquy. Imagine us being civilized with each other. A girl can dream.