It Comes Down to Choice
|It Comes Down to Choice
We’re about to begin the 18th year of this new millennium. My journey of the last seventeen years has led to many conversations, many of which have been inspiring and others a little disconcerting. There is a voice of concern and resignation that I have been repeatedly hearing that lately seems to be louder than the voice of hope. Many are concerned about the new administration that will soon take office and the myriad global and planetary challenges that we all face. At the heart of these challenges is an uncertain future.
What exacerbates the situation is the huge media juggernaut that bombards us with information, most of which is negative. Within seconds we become aware of events and tragedies anywhere in the world. It’s difficult to tune them out. This negativity, which is constantly reinforced, colors how we perceive our lives and the challenges that we experience in day-to-day living. We wonder how we can find fulfillment on a personal level when there is so much suffering and uncertainty in the world.
When one tends to focus on what’s wrong and what isn’t working, they will always find a litany of reasons that justifies their concerns. I bet that if you took a look at a newspaper from 50 years ago, there would be many of the same concerns.
It comes down to choice. I am in the camp of the optimists. No matter what is happening in my life, or in the world, I believe that there will be a better day. In fact I don’t think we have a choice but to be optimistic, even when there is so much suffering in the world.
I think back to the sixties…the assassinations of our beloved leaders. Not only did our country seem stuck in a senseless war, Vietnam, our country was hopelessly polarized. (sound familiar) There seemed to be little hope. What made matters worse was that we were on a collision course in the bigger cold war with the Soviet Union. Numerous pundits and leading edge periodicals predicted a nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union.
This is what I wrote in a poem back then.
Should there be a day when the visionaries of peace stop loving, then the prophets of doom will have their day of gloom.
I have come to the conclusion that feeling bad or hopeless doesn’t help things. Remaining optimistic does. Being optimistic gives you hope and you ‘re better able to see possibilities that you couldn’t see before. Being optimistic gives you the space to dream again, to dare again, even now, even with what’s going on in your own life and the bigger world stage.
It’s been estimated by researchers that we have from forty-sixty thousand thoughts in a day, 70% of which are negative. By becoming more mindful of our thought process we can change this tendency so we think more about the more positive thoughts, and in the process, smile and laugh more.
There’s a Native American Story, which I’ve told before, that reminds me of this truth.
A grandfather is discussing with his grandson a tragedy that just occurred.
The grandfather says, ” I feel like I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One is an angry vengeful one and the other is a peaceful loving one.”
The grandson then asks,” Which one is going to win the battle of your heart?”
The grandfather replies, “The one I feed.”
i might add that the peaceful loving voice is also the optimistic one, but one that is constantly challenged. It takes courage and commitment to allow this voice to be heard. But when you do, you awaken to a resourcefulness and greatness inside yourself that you never knew was possible. Other generations have been presented with just as great or greater challenges.
Think of the challenges along the way that have helped you get to this point in your life; the challenges that have inspired you to surpass what you thought was possible.
Think of those courageous souls who, along the way, have been an inspiration to you. Be willing to reach out to them and become a guiding light
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