sometimes you just have to take a step back and shake your head at the world.
there have been so many negative events in the news lately, from the recent shootings to people being forced out of twitter due to online bullying. the gut-wrenching death of philando castile hit too close to home, and every day i refrain from posting something political due to the “is this it? would this be the tweet/FB post that gets attention in the wrong way?” thoughts.
it’s overwhelming sometimes, even if it doesn’t affect day-to-day actions or the time-numbing routines the average person has fallen into. it pulls me down, thinking about the conflicts, the senseless deaths, the amount of hate that fills the world.
but then, something happens that brings a lift of a smile to your face. and just when you think all hope is lost, something happens on such a large scale – unsurmountable and never-before seen – that it brings a lift to your heart, to hope in humanity.
right in the middled of all this negativity that’s been going on, pokemon released its mobile app. it exploded. there are more visitors to city memorials and parks in the past two weeks than probably the past two years. people are coming together to fight friendly virtual battles over gyms, find a rare pokemon, or spinning a pokestop for more pokeballs.
people who don’t know each other are waving at each other in the park. strangers asking if you’re there for pokemon, and what team are you? and let’s see if we can do something about this gym, working together and getting better and better at it. my husband, the most anti-social person i know, is laughing with and helping strangers figure out how to play the game, yelling his team name out the car window as we’re driving toward a pokestop, and spending time in places he wouldn’t otherwise.
instead of conversations revolving around shootings or the latest political debacle or what’s it’s gonna take to move the canada, i’m having conversations about what pokemon i’ve got, how many eggs i’m incubating, and marveling at all the people who’ve gathered around a local lake on a non-event evening.
maybe, if everyone were playing pokemon GO: finding the historical monuments, parks, schools, libraries, and lakes; coming together in a shared interest of team yellow vs. team red; or luring pokemon to find one to post sentry to a gym; maybe, just maybe, we would be too busy and community-involved to start wars, pull out a gun, or decide bullying was a productive pasttime.