In the wake of the 2016 US election there has been a constant stream of reactions from bloggers, YouTubers, and influencers. President Elect Donald Trump, at times, seemed intent on upsetting as many people as possible on his campaign, and his victory has come as a huge surprise to a lot of Hillary supporters. I wanted to avoid a lot of the rhetoric I’ve seen from fellow video bloggers, mostly anti-Trump, whose post-election uploads have been fairly predictable: dissections of how the result was made possible; rallying calls to arms; or heartfelt appeals to humanity and understanding. I wanted to talk more about our reactions as individuals, particularly for those feeling disenfranchised and unsatisfied.
Watch my video, Doubling Down on Selfishness here:
This video, of course, is not to be taken too literally or seriously. The latter section is deliberately extreme for comic effect. However, it holds a certain amount of truth for me, as I’m sure it does for many of you. For most of this year one of the questions that has weighed most heavily on my mind is ‘how do I remain steadfast and personally driven in the face of realities that seem unfair?’ (It’s something I touched upon in this video as well.) In the face of unexpected and upsetting situations, it’s a very natural response to allow a little more selfishness into your life. When the world seems hostile and the future is unknowable, control over the material can be comforting.
But for me, ‘doing you’ is more than just acquiring money. In times of uncertainty I turn to the things I have definite control over: my diet, care of my body, what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what activities I choose in my spare time. If the world outside is letting me down, at least I know I’m still growing, and learning, and becoming better.
Unfortunately too much selfishness can lead to political apathy, as some of you were quick to point out in the comments. I also speak from a position of great privilege, as others were also quick to point out. This video is by no means a comprehensive lifestyle guide, nor is it solely about the US election, but an expression of something I’ve been thinking about for a while. If you are experiencing a crisis of faith or anger at the way of the world, a little selfishness may go a long way to healing you. Once healed, you might find your capacity for activism, understanding, and hope are back to normal.
– C x