I have discovered that as an INFJ personality type I fall into the ‘walks the tightrope between the world is a glorious place full of potential’ and ‘someone get me off of this planet STAT!’ Quite the dichotomy, for sure.
I am at the point in my life where I just can’t watch the news anymore; I’m tired of the self-serving angry people fighting endlessly- I don’t care what party or station. I’m tired of hearing about murders and robberies and what is wrong with the world. I’m in desperate need of some ‘what is right’ in the world, for some recognition of what is beautiful and good in human nature. We’re not all angry; some of us want to enjoy the short time we have on this spinning orb.
When I start to fall into the dark pit of negativity, I do my best to call upon my angels. I think of what my mother would have done through dark times, how she treated people in need- even when she didn’t have anything much herself. I thought of what my teachers and mentors did for me when I was a struggling student. So much kindness has come my way all of my life.
I’ve decided my biggest issue is that I can’t solve the problems of the world- I can only worry about them…and worrying doesn’t do a whole lot of good. I try to focus on the good; I realize that I am pretty damn lucky to have the life that I do, and that not everyone is able or ready to see the beauty in the little things that are what keep me going. If I look at the big picture, I’m overwhelmed with sadness for all the cruelty and hate that seems to be so prevalent; when I focus on the kindness of individuals, on the small things that I can do to make even a tiny ripple of change, I feel hope. I so want to feel hope.
I continue to remind myself that there are many truly good people out there trying their best to make the world better in ways small and large. Even the smallest acts of kindness can put good things in motion. This morning we went to breakfast at our favorite local place in Five Points. There is a huge homeless population in Birmingham and it is common to see them sitting outside of the restaurants. We’ve often ‘adopted’ a person to help as we could.
We passed by a young man huddled into a tight ball as he sat on the sidewalk, his back against the wall of the restaurant. He didn’t ask for anything nor say a word, and it seemed as if he was trying to disappear into the brick. There were several people walking past him and not one person acknowledged his presence. I walked into the restaurant with Dan and couldn’t stop thinking about how sad it was for a human being obviously in need to be completely ignored as the rest of us carried on with our privileged lives. I called the waitress over and and ordered a breakfast sandwich to go, taking it out to the young man…but he was gone, obviously moved along by the group of policeman that had congregated after their breakfast. My heart sank.
Our waitress came out and pointed to a young woman across the street, also obviously in need. The sandwich found a good home after all, and hopefully the young woman enjoyed a hot meal on this beautiful morning. Maybe the young man found sustenance somewhere, too.
Sitting here in my peaceful front patio with Marley, I can’t help but think that maybe the young man was one of those angels, there to remind me to think about others more, to encourage me do more random acts of kindness- just as so many have done for me. I imagine a world where a spark is ignited, with people everywhere making the choice to turn away from the bickering and hate and instead choosing to do small things with great love…and then hope fills my heart again.