We are currently suffering an overdose of Drama. While it is central in our learning about being human,
we are becoming addicted to it, and it poisons our ability to think clearly about resolutions to the challenges we face.
What we see each evening on the screen doesn't disappear when we close our eyes. Our favorite dramatic series blends with the troubling news of the day while we sleep; and our unconscious mind mixes and matches the themes trying to fit the easy solutions of fiction to the complex dilemmas in our lives and in the world.
We wake with the certainty that the problems reside in the inability of everyone else to do their job right. And as we go through the day that understanding is reinforced by the guy honking his horn, the pedestrian oblivious to the traffic lights, our boss who never understands us, and our assistant who can't find his way to the men's room.
As the day drifts on, alternating between routine and surprise, we recognize ourselves as the "other people" and the familiar sense of helpless frustration is quickly replaced with some sense of guilt, which in turn shifts immediately to anticipation of a retreat to the safety of our evening at home.
Clearly this is an oversimplification. Depending on age, gender, income, and family constellation, the evening at home may include a stop at the bar, a pick-up of kids from day-care, a kid's soccer game, or a visit to an aging parent. But for most of us, most of the time, a visit with the TV is part of our evening ritual. And there our overdose of Drama prepares us for bed.
What to do? Fortunately, there are a variety of antidotes emerging from our social structure. More and more of us are engaging in regular exercise, meditation, yoga, evening classes on a variety of life management skills, and there are a variety of articles and books offering an alternative to our Drama addiction.
What I invite you to do now is to explore a way to convert a Conflict into a Challenge, and a Challenge into an Opportunity. We will do that by using the language of Drama itself to our own personal advantage. We will begin that in a day or two.