There is enough garbage, misfortune, and horror in this world to break all of us if we let it.
Start the day with a little wisdom instead.
I’m not going to say, “Think positive,” because that is the most misunderstood advice of all time. People tend to think it means suppressing how you really feel, turning a blind eye to the suffering of the world, and thinking only of self.
So, no, I won’t say it because it sounds shallow.
Instead, I say start your day with the realization that you cannot help one single soul by letting the crap of this world bring you down. You can care deeply and be there for those in misfortune, but you must never, ever take it all in so deeply that it renders you powerless, ineffective, and unproductive.
What the world REALLY needs is your courage. People need to see strength of spirit in order to feel hope and a reason to go on. Lamenting how “awful” the world is will never give that hope … ever … to anyone, including yourself.
One of the reasons we suffer is because BAD news gets more attention than good news. We tend to be emotionally drawn to “AWFUL” more than stories of kindness, courage, winning, hope, miracles, effort, determination, and triumphing against the odds.
Why do we gravitate towards crisis more than hope and then complain that the world is gone mad? I would venture to say it is gone mad BECAUSE of depraved minds and hearts that allowed life to drag them to the pit of despair.
You cannot change the whole world yourself, but together each one of us can change our own world and that of one other person. In this way, yes, you CAN change the world.
This morning is a beautiful chance to make that difference. I woke up with a migraine and posts on Facebook about the horrors of the world, and it was tempting … it really was … to get drawn into a “bad day.” But here’s what came to mind then …
And that is not fair to any of us. Instead I think of all the eyes that are viewing Facebook … people looking for something to make them smile, or some measure of connection so they don’t feel so alone; people looking for something funny to share at work today or something that will make a bright difference in their day …
And I thought to myself, “Do I want to be the one who helps bring them down (or keeps them down) first thing in the morning? Or can I offer a little soul food that either brings a smile or some cause for positive reflection?”
“Positive thinking,” in its most effective form, is more about choosing a perspective that is equally as true as the drama of the world but lifts you to a more empowered state of being. BOTH perspectives are real. BOTH will shape your world and the world around you. Only one can see you through.
So this morning I challenge you to take five minutes to think of all the kindness, heroic deeds, and acts of love and courage that are out there in our world. Strengthen yourself so that the empathy you feel for the less fortunate can be more empowered. Shield yourself from the drama of arrogance, crime, underhanded politics, greed, and suffering by taking on a little light.
You will be just ONE candle, but isn’t that all it takes to guide us when the “power” is out?