Month: February 2018
This gives me hope for the future, considering the current chaotic situation.
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” Mark Twain
Somethings we want to preserve, but some things it’s very clear that we need to change regularly. In a world that is alive we take in food and put out waste. We take in new ideas and apply them to what we already know, creating new ideas, and rejecting the ones that no longer serve us as well. Sometimes, like a baby having it’s diaper changed, we fuss when someone is forcing a change on us, even when we know it’s going to be better. Perhaps the babies are fussing simply because they don’t like being forced. So when we are changing something that effects many people, perhaps we can remember this and be gentle, helping them to understand the benefits. Then we can all enjoy the change more.
Did you ever flip a coin to make a decision and then when head or tails came up, you discovered that you really didn’t want that option? I’ve often used that technique to discover if I were hiding my own preferences from myself.
Some folks say you shouldn’t WANT things. If you don’t want anything, you’ll never be disappointed if you don’t have it, you’ll never want what someone else has. There is a problem with wanting something without having done anything to earn it, sometimes. You can follow the line of thinking to work out when it’s OK, and when it isn’t. If you take something someone else worked for when you didn’t, that’s not good. If someone gives you something because they want you to be happy and getting it makes you happy, that makes them happy, so that’s good. It’s OK to want, to admire, to appreciate beautiful, wonderful things. Better than that, if you want something, whether a bike, or a video game, or a car, or the ability to make your own decisions, that wanting, that longing for something you don’t have yet may help motivate you to doing the things you need to do to get it. You may want to fit into that dress without the seams straining, and want it more than you want those cookies. You may want to read that book enough that you stay home when others are headed for a night out- or you may want to have friends around you more than you want to read the book. One of the most important skills you can learn is to know what you want, and how much you want it. Sometimes you may have to lead yourself through a string of questions to figure out your options and test the strength of you wanting.
Don’t assume that any wanting is greed. You may be wanting someone to love you and you love. You may want money- but what you WANT is to know that you have earned that money. (Be careful not to set the intention for a wretched job because of an unexamined belief that if you don’t suffer for it, you didn’t work hard for it. Be careful, you may have picked up some really odd and untrue beliefs before you even knew you were learning them.)
Change can be very good, and your intentions- your wants- will direct them. Accept that what you want may be what is going to bring you fulfillment, and learn to embrace that energy as a way to overcome the fear of reaching for it. Fear isn’t automatically bad. Fear of being hurt keeps us safe. But want isn’t automatically bad either. Accept them as signs that help you find your way to your best life.
I’d already scheduled this post, but given the shooting on Wednesday, I feel a need to revise, to defend the concept a bit. It would be easy to see “Things happen for a reason” as a platitude or blaming what happened on God or Fate or some divine plan.
Things happen for not just a reason but many reasons. One reason was that the man was angry, and whatever he was angry about, there is no excuse for his killing those students and teachers. I’m sure it didn’t do anything to fix the problems that made him angry. Later many people will try to figure out his motivation, but that’s not why it happened, in either a cosmic sense or a practical one. We are in a high stress, angry culture, and some parts of it encourage violent behavior. Many others do not.
Change is inevitable. Things always change, and we hope that changes will be for the better, not the worse. We do not embrace the terrorism, but we can embrace people helping each other. People are coming together to try to direct change in the right direction. Many people are outraged, and determined to prevent more tragedies like this from happening. Compassion Fatigue is a real thing, but this incident may be the tipping point where people will refuse to simply “think about something else”, and insist on making policies that reflect good research that shows us how to prevent more shooting. Terrorism is always about using other people’s fear to make them do what you want them to do: to move out of your town, or country, to allow you your bigotry, to see how awful conditions are and do something about it. It’s not a good technique, but it is does get our attention.
Climate Change is a change- but people all over the world are working on turning it around. Every news story whether on climate or on terrorism adds figures into existing data and changes the direction of the probabilities we are facing. We don’t ever travel in a direct line. We change our paths. We are creatures of earth and of stardust, of matter and energy, and we are capable of so much! If we decide to use that energy, and our actions to change the world we are in. In every little thing we do, we can make the world a better place. When something awful happens, the best we can do is not accept it, but seize the energy of our outrage and use it to power our will to change the world for the better.