Here’s a question I got from a reader this morning:
What the fuck is happening to our world Terry? Apologies for the language! Everything that is happening, well, seems to be taking us backwards and further away from love and humanity. I am truly struggling to stay at peace and hold everyone in love and light.
I hear ya, sistah. Not to be flip, but I get it – REALLY I get it! I heard an NPR interview recently with a historian talking about how many Americans are saying and hearing how divisive our country has become in the past few years. I checked out his thoughts with my resident historian husband, and he concurred. This is NOT the first time our country has been deeply divided, nor the world in general for that matter. The U.S. has been deeply divided on many issues from 1776. Slavery, women’s rights, the right to vote, WW1, WW2, the Korean War, Vietman, and the gulf wars, same-sex couples right to marry and serve in the military, to name just a few. I’m old enough to remember the Vietnam era. It was ugly, the protests were violent, and somehow we made it through.
The world has had it’s conflicts as well. Is it getting worse? Is life in Europe and in the Middle East today any worse than when the Moors (Muslims) conquered the Iberian Peninsula? Is the bloodshed and torture that the Islamic world endured during the Christian Crusades as bad as the genocide taking place today in so many countries?
A major reason we’ve started believing that the world is going to hell in a hand basket is the availability and personal connection we have with the rest of our planet. The Internet and our society’s growing need to document every piece of our lives – and to become obsessed with the lives of others – has created a new normal of constant aggravation, righteous indignation (warranted or not), and a more divisive world.
I’m not sure if it’s worse today than it was centuries ago. But I do know there are more of us – meaning there’s going to be more good people and more bad people. The less we concentrate on the news and reports that upset us, the more time we’ll have to focus on what matters: Our own lives, families, careers, health, prosperity, and spirituality.
That doesn’t mean we remain ignorant about what’s going on locally or internationally. But, while the U.K.’s drama surrounding Brexit is fascinating (particular since their Parliament broadcasts look more like a Worldwide Wrestling Smackdown at times), is it more important to us than loving our mates, cleaning the house, contributing to worthwhile causes, protesting wrongs in our own community, supporting political candidates, doing the laundry, or grocery shopping?
Ernest Holmes once wrote that our problems are as real as we make them. The question then becomes, Just how big of a problem do we want to make out of each and every Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap Chat posting? Some will be important. Most will not. It behooves us to choose wisely if and when we are going to switch into full-bustle, self-righteous indignation about something.
“Change your thinking, change your life” has been said over and over, by many different people, and in many different ways. It’s one of the simplest concepts we’ll ever learn. But is it easy? Often not, particular in the world in which we live, and dealing with the problems touched on by my reader’s query. None of us are going to be positive all the time. We will have bad days, self-imposed or ones we may determine are the fault of others. And, we know in truth that it is not the actions of others that determine our mood, but our reaction to the situation.
The more we stay in action and away from reaction the more empowered, loving, and happy we’ll be. The more I concentrate on my vital needs, serving my family, friends, and others, continuing my own spiritual practice without fail, the less the chaos of our nation and our globe ruin my day. Others have taught me this. I recommend it … highly.