Last night I was watching the news which I rarely do, learning that 250 young little girls attending school perished along with approximately 35,000 other people. I was moved to tears and it has stuck with me. My dominant thoughts are what can I do? And why are things like this happening with such frequency? As I struggle personally to make sense of the overwhelming number of natural disasters and record number of plane crashes in recent months, I have come up with this; it’s a wake-up call to how we live our lives.Most of us are pre-occupied with the pursuit of material goals. We take for granted the people closest to us, we take for granted that there will be a tomorrow, we expect it.
Many people spend much of their time complaining about what’s missing, and what’s not working In their lives reserving joy and happiness for someday, one-day when: their mortgage is paid off, they get that dream job, they meet the one, their significant other changes, they retire or their business is finally successful. Meanwhile there are people in other countries who don’t even have the simple luxury of uncontaminated water and medical facilities. We have so much. Happiness is now, gratitude is now. We need to take the time with people to express our love for them, to swallow our foolish pride and apologize, to forgive those that have made mistakes and hurt us, especially family members and those closest to us. We can give up our intense judgment of people in our society. We dish out anger and blame freely and reserve love and contribution for a select few. Sadly, most of us have become numb to the level of negative focus in our daily lives, it has become like breathing.
We need to begin to acknowledge the people that touch our lives everyday and not just those in our family but the teenager that bags our groceries slowly, the people we work with, the TTC driver and the waitress at lunch even when the food is not just so. Instead of looking for reasons, excuses and justification to ‘get on it’ and be miserable – we could just as easily look for excuse to be happy, kind and generous regardless of how people are towards us. We need to be responsible for our own happiness and generating it moment to moment independent of what is going on around us; we can take on inspiring all those people who’s paths we cross. We live in a society where escape behaviors have become the norm.
People spend millions of dollars and hours on behaviors such as over indulgence in substances, excessive television and overeating to fill that void that instantly dissipates with actions such as; volunteering, random acts of kindness, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable or simply having the courage to pursue our dreams. And meanwhile we have so much more than some countries could ever dream of.There is a lack of reverence and spirituality present in our everyday lives. Globally our society have become a reflection of the news; we focus on all of the negative things happening and then throw in one little positive at the end of it that couldn’t possibly offer any balance. We lack social responsibility too. Those of us that have the ability to take action must take action! The sooner we do; the sooner and more likely others will follow suit.
We have hundreds of choices every day : to love versus hate, to encourage over discourage, to heal not hurt, to keep our power over giving it away, to let go instead of holding a grudge, to be inspired as opposed to negative, to laugh over crying, smile versus frowning, to give not take, to embrace diversity instead of judgment and to replace fear with courage. So who can you acknowledge today for what they have contributed to your life? Who can you apologize to? Who can you forgive? Who do you know that needs help that you could reach out to and make a difference for? What could you give up for a day, a week or a month to send a few dollars in the direction of someone who really needs it; perhaps your morning latte or a few hours of your time at shelter…
It really is that simple.What can you do today, big or small to make this world a brighter place? I invite you all to take this on and I would love to here back from any and all of you that do. One more thing to consider; if you knew you had one hour to live and you could make one phone call; who would you call? What would you say? And what the heck are you waiting for?! Fear, pride, certainty and stubbornness may never go away however, you can act independent of them and miraculous things can open up for you and others too.