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Doom or Bloom

“What we think, we become.” Siddhartha Gautama

This quote says much about Buddhism, and much that is misunderstood. In its basic and fundamental form Buddhism is a focus on knowledge and wisdom. The one thing that is most misunderstood about Buddhism is that it is not a religion; it is neither dogmatic nor does it acknowledge the existence of any deities. Buddhism is simply a philosophy for a way of life, a way for each individual to find happiness.

Buddhism recognizes the spiritual but only as residing within our humanism. It recognizes that we as humans can suffer, but that there is a way to find and understand the cause, a way to address it, and therefore a way to end it. Buddhism represents a positive mindset that finds opportunities in everything as opposed to the negative mindset that finds despair in everything. Buddhism focuses on the present, not the past, as only through the present can there be a future. It disavows reification, relies on the empirical and avoids the confusions of the metaphysical.

This post is not about Buddhism as such as there are so many good sources available for that; it’s about the growing dominance of the negative mindset of our young. Per the latest CDC data, those between the ages of 10–24 years account for 14% of all suicides, second only to accidents as the leading cause of death in the young. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that nearly 20% of high school students have serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have attempted it. What accounts for such desperate suffering among the young is something we as a society need to understand.

A new word bouncing around the news and social media is “Groomers”; as a “Boomer” I went to my book shelf dictionaries to find what that meant. I have Webster, Oxford, Random House, and MacMillan, but all they had for Groomers were definitions of those that groomed people and pets; so off to the internet where I find a “modern” definition as slang for “…someone who builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.” Apparently in the culture wars of our time this slang definition applies to a great many people, dominantly in education, news, social media and politics.

While there are a lot of problems in the world, and historically that has always been the case, the current attitudes about them, and the approaches to solutions, more often than not border on the bizarre if not ignorance, stressing crises and doom rather than understanding. With the massive bombardment of information in the news and social media it’s easy to see how someone, especially the young, can become overwhelmed, misled and driven to despair; however, adults are supposed to be there for them, but in many cases apparently now qualify more as Groomers than mentors. Therein lies our first step in understanding what we need to do to develop a positive mindset in our children, and that is to avoid Groomers who are in a position to influence, and perhaps even indoctrinate our children with a negative mindset.

Whether the gloom is focused on war, climate, race, sex, disease, or whatever crisis is the angst of the moment, there are Groomers that will stress everything in an environment of doom, discounting if not dismissing the inherent human trait called invention, especially as the saying goes, when faced with necessity. This situation has spawned yet another modern slang word, “Doomers”, the victims of such negative manipulation. According to the same source as before, “A Doomer is a person with a pessimistic outlook on life. A Doomer feels a sense of helplessness and aimlessness and is often stricken with deep despair for life.” The definition itself is cause for concern when it refers to the most vulnerable segment of society, the children of Gen Y or Millennials, Gen Z or Centennials, Gen Alpha, and whatever alphabetic category we come up with for future generations.

A negative mindset can devolve into despair, which is a very real, debilitating disorder. While a person experiencing despair can usually function sufficiently in day-to-day tasks, if not addressed it can in turn lead to depression; even if temporary that’s a chronic state of feeling low, losing interest in what previously provided pleasure and a sense of purpose, becoming dysfunctional in doing the simple tasks for living. Often depression leads to suicidal thoughts, or even worse. With that in mind, understand Groomers to be an evil version of the Pied Piper of our day.

A closer look into this phenomenon of Groomers and Doomers finds various surveys by Gallup and others that correlated political identities with negative mindsets. While I find the left/right political spectrum to be flawed, it was interesting to see that these surveys found around 58% of those on the “right” in good mental health compared to 38% on the “left”, with moderates and independents in the middle. Similar surveys further broke down and found in these groups those in the extreme end of the spectrum, especially if espousing violence as a solution, to more likely suffer from depression.

There was no surprise here, at least on my part, to find a strong correlation between Groomers and Doomers and political ideologies like “White Supremacy” and “Wokeism”. In fact, there was more convergence and almost no divergence socially, culturally or politically among these groups where individuals become so oblivious to the issues at hand while they espouse mean and cruel behavior as a virtue, often in support of some cause that they can’t even coherently identify. The existence of such nihilism within them provides an explanation for such rampant negativity. 

There is yet another modern slang definition, this for those with a positive mindset, and that’s “Bloomers”! No, I’m not referring to old fashion ladies underwear, expressions of annoyance, or flowers; the modern day slang definition is “A person who has a positive outlook, resists self-destructive behavior and generally functions as a happy individual.” Further, it’s important to note that Bloomers have knowledge about the harsh realities of life, so this positive mindset doesn’t come from ignorance; reality doesn’t prevent Bloomers pursuing the best and happiest life possible. This positive mindset doesn’t necessarily make them the smartest people in the room either, but it does enable them to use whatever intelligence they have to their maximum benefit.

Bloomers in general are the young who have not allowed themselves to be indoctrinated into negative mindsets and therefore reach a state of maturity where instead of obstacles see opportunities; they don’t carry around the burdens of despair seeing only problems that can’t be solved, and have no interest in cancelling or hurting in any way people who don’t agree with them. Bloomers as opposed to Doomers embrace life as an adventure in “…the pursuit of happiness.” As far as correlations go, they often become entrepreneurs, despite the fact that being one comes with no guarantees for success or safety net in the event of failure.

What we need in our society is an environment, especially in education, that excludes Groomers, discourages Doomers and promotes Bloomers. In America we have a game that is very much like life and as one of its most iconic players simply told us, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Babe Ruth


Author: jvi7350

Politically I am an independent. While I tend to avoid labels, I consider myself a Libertarian. I find our politics to have deteriorated to a current state of ranting tribialism, and a growing disregard for individual rights; based on the axiom that silence is consent, I choose instead to speak out and therefore launched this blog.

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