Sometimes I wish I were a psychologist. I’m sure there’s a clinical description of the condition where people begin to feel a sense of ownership of things that are of interest to them, even though they’re not directly involved. For example, people (and by people, I’m referring to myself) spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what kinds of personnel moves their favorite baseball team should make in order to get to the World Series. I find that I’m addicted to this sort of thinking, and I’m not sure it’s a very productive use of my time. I’m always thinking about what John Kerry needs to do to win the Presidential election, or how companies that I like could improve their products, or what we ought to be doing to improve the plight of various people in Africa. Heck, I even spend time thinking about how some TV shows I watch could be better than they are. And really, none of those things are in my sphere of influence, which is obviously small.
The entertainment value and mental stimulation of pondering big problems is the reward, but I can’t help but think that it’s probably not the best use of my time. In that sense, I can see why many people simply choose to ignore politics (among other subjects). If you can’t affect something personally, what’s the use in spending much time on it? I ought to be more like that, I think.