I’ll be honest, the world is scaring me right now; so much cruelty and hatred, the onslaught of the endless ‘Breaking News!’ of politics, the climate out of control. Here in Birmingham we have almost become numb to the ‘shootings of the day’. As a huge empath, I feel like I absorb all of the swirling mess and end up anxiety-ridden and in a constant state of worry. What can one person do in the face of so much darkness?
I can either be crushed under the weight of it all or I can remind myself that one person can indeed make a difference, even if it only feels like a small contribution. We can be kind to people, look out for each other. We can do our best to not judge others and keep our minds open to those who think and believe differently from us. We can donate to help organizations that assist those in need; I just sent a donation to the Australian Red Cross yesterday. We can try our best to live and eat responsibly and ethically.
If we act locally, doing whatever that we can do small or large, perhaps those acts will inspire others not to give up hope, to do their own part to help make their little corner of the world a better place. That’s the great thing about action- it typically causes others to respond and react. Like the old L’Oréal commercial said, “And so on, and so on, and so on…” That’s how real change happens.
What else can we do? We can put beautiful things out in the world; music, books, blog posts, paintings, encouraging cards, gardens and flower arrangements, cooking good meals or desserts, knitting, teaching a great lesson, building things, being a great server or secretary- or just encouraging those who do those things…wherever our talents lie, we can use them to uplift and inspire. The possibilities are endless.
Personally, I’m going to begin turning off news notifications. I don’t plan to stick my head in the sand, but I need to take control of how, where, and when I let potentially stressful news into my day. I’ll continue to post humorous and uplifting things on social media, do my best to teach my students well and play beautiful music, be a good wife and friend. I’m also going to do everything I can to be an encourager in a world that desperately needs encouragement. That’s my little bit for whatever it’s worth, and hopefully it will make a difference in some small way.
Yes, these are scary times, but I so love the spirit of the Tolkien quote:
There is always, always, a reason to hope. I won’t let go.