Listen to the news anchors and the chatter on social media, and one would be inclined to believe we are living in a time when all the best days are far behind us. Anger and fear leads people to jump to the conclusion that society (and perhaps even the entire globe) is on the edge of dystopia.
Quite the contrary is true. Despite the endless negativity, the world as a whole is actually a better place now than in past times. Yes, there still are wars, misery, and poverty, but in overall numbers things are looking brighter. But don’t take my word for it.
Take a listen to Steven Pinker’s TED.com talk entitled, “Is The World Getting Better Or Worse?”
Then read PEW Research’s article “Globally Is Life Better Today Than In The Past?”
Finally…Just take a long deep breath, put up your feet, and shed the darkness that surrounds you. Then consider reading my post “Illuminating Light”
We often see what we expect to see. So seek the good. See the good.
Political divisiveness does little except blind us to our shared humanity.
Instead of embracing our mutual inter-relationships, we may prejudge those with whom we may potentially disagree and push further into our corners, unwilling to listen. Media (including social media) acts seemingly as a gasoline to further fan the flames of hate between us.
Is this who we WANT to be? Or are we just puppets allowing ourselves to be controlled by puppeteers?
Why does it seem that we’ve forgotten that we are all connected?
Consider reading my older 2015 post about the Syrian refugee crisis, entitled “Human vs. Human”
In the four years since that post, we all know the resulting devastation of the Syrian homeland. We are now in the midst of multiple crises in other foreign countries, including the Americas. The issues are vastly complex, and in need of deep discussions and ultimate compromise from all sides. We don’t need soundbites and further divisiveness by those dug into opposite corners.
Where will we be in another four years time?
How often do you feel as if life is on fast forward? You feel breathless. Anxious. Guilty of not doing enough.
Do you ever dream of a life of simplicity? Stop counting each moment, and instead make each moment count. It’s the small things that matter most.
Consider unplugging after reading my post entitled “Disconnect To Reconnect”
Learn to embrace uncertainty and read my post “The Road Not Certain”
Then cast your perfectionistic tendencies aside, and appreciate the ephemeral and imperfect nature of things after reading my post “Beautiful Imperfections”
Life in today’s society is often rushed, with people multi-tasking, stressed, and clinging on for dear life. But sometimes the answer is a change in perception.
Embracing the mindset of wonder can do much to alleviate undue stress, improve health, and live a more fulfilled life.
Read more in my post entitled “Awestruck”
And consider embracing the awe of a full moon or even a blood moon by reading my post entitled “Shadowed Moon”
Each day we are filled will countless examples of hate and anger. We see it in politics. We see it in our newspapers. Many of us also see it in our lives.
What if each of us tried instead to fill ourselves with the countless examples of goodness and kindness, and truly learned to forgive?
How can we accomplish this as individuals? As communities? As a nation? As a global alliance?
Consider reading some of my past posts on this and closely related topics:
“When Anger Rears Its Ugly Head”
“Breaking The Cycle”
“A November To Remember”
While in any situation we may each observe the same things…we never truly perceive the same things. We express ourselves in writing and speech from the starting point of our perceptions.
Our experiences are always shaped by these sensory perceptions. Many people with sensory losses may find that other senses become more acute. As someone who experiences synesthesia, my own perceptions are often further altered by a crossing of differing sensory modalities.
Enjoy my 2015 article on synesthesia entitled “Number Six Burns Like An Orange Flame”
Within each of us is a story that must be told. Tell it in words, music, or art. Each story is a link in the chain of humanity. Each chain a breath of life.
Add to the chain.
Continuing the theme of National Poetry Month.
We often forget that images, like words, are also poetic creations. Van Gogh was a brilliant artist who expressed a magnificent world in the ways only his deep sensitivity to color and sound could possibly perceive.
Consider watching the Van Gogh movie “Loving Vincent”
April is National Poetry Month, and Plato’s quote speaks with clarity on the power of poetry.
For those interested in reading more from me on poetry, check out these 2015 posts:
Fourteen Lines (sonnets)
Seventeen Syllables (haiku)
Thirty-One Syllables (tanka)
Periodically I will be posting a visual series I composed of my favorite inspirational quotes.
Each post will include one quote. Most quotes will be focused on writing and life. Some will address the moods of the day.
Capote’s quote expresses the emotion I feel when language and writing cross over into color and melody.
[NOTE: All images will either be my own photos or photos listed in public domain. Space-related images are all from NASA.]