A glass half-empty is discouraging, but not as discouraging as how misled people can be when a glass half-full is perceived as brimming over the top. War is discouraging, too, especially wars that seem to go on forever. It's as if the countries involved grow to believe that everything is dangerous and foreboding while the rest of the world goes on about business as usual and relatively unscathed. Some countries seem to draw violence toward them, and others don't. Why is this?
It's discouraging to hear that children are starving in poor countries not because of lack of donated food, but because of men that continue to fight for some kind of power even though the ones that win are usually short lived. The unkindness and lack of compassion is amazing, and a reflection of how little we have advanced as human beings.

When we hear that the world is becoming a cesspool of greenhouse gasses because of our voracious appetite for carbon, and yet we continue to drive powerful, large vehicles for - status, power, and because of insecurity - similar reasons that leaders in Africa keep starving children from food. This has to be discouraging as well.

And it is discouraging to see homeless veterans begging in the streets because a wealthy society has no patience with so called non-achievers, yet these veterans achieved enough to keep the wealthy safe. How sad.

It's disappointing to see emergency rooms filled with sick people who have no insurance, the choice being between eating and medical help for a vast majority of them. And insurance companies that cherry pick their clients and turn down the risky ones who are ill. Or drug companies that not only self-test and regulate their own drugs, but then knowingly release questionable ones that harm people simply because the drug companies must keep their stockholders happy with a greedy bottom line.

It is a shame as well when HMOs cancel a patient's health insurance because their sick child has hit some kind of a glass ceiling and therefore their lives are no longer worth the money that the insurance company has to put out, while Wall Street greedily insists that, the regulators inflate everyone's lives with worthless dollars so that the stock market remains happy and so that Wall Street's wealth is taxed little. And all the while, the working man and woman does the heavy lifting.

These things are all discouraging, but the most discouraging thing in the world is; that nothing ever changes regarding the greed, hatred and delusion of human beings - at least not until we are shocked beyond belief. Then, and only then, is there a possibility of change.

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is cofounder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com His twenty-nine years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit www.AYearToEnlightenment.com