Sometimes, when I step back and look at the big picture of where our world is, the hatred, discrimination, hunger, oppression, war, crimes against humanity (or simply our neighbor), it completely overwhelms me and boggles my mind.
All you have to do is sit down and watch 20 minutes of news to get a taste of what is wrong with our world and our people.
Then the thought creeps in, “it’s hopeless, what can *I* do to change all this?”
Many of us sit in our offices, homes and cars listening to news broadcasts and wondering just that. And this thought is often followed by “I’m just one person, I don’t know how to fix this.” And ya know, that is true. No one person can fix anything but him or herself.
We don’t even have to read a paper or watch the news to become overwhelmed by helplessness and hopelessness – a talk with a friend who’s in an abusive marriage, seeing a classmate of our child who has that haunted, scared look in her eyes, watching teenagers in colors gathered on a street corner, or even simply over-hearing another person berating and demeaning a fellow human being (whether they know that person or not). It’s enough to make a person throw up their hands and want to hide in the safety of their own home.
But we CAN all do something. The answer to the question, “Heal the World? Who? Me??” is a resounding and emphatic, YES! We cannot lead if we do not know the way. We cannot love if we do not know what love is. We cannot accept others if we cannot first accept ourselves. We cannot act and speak with compassion if we have not diffused the anger, hatred and resentment that resides within us. We cannot heal if we are not healed.
I can just hear ya’ll: “Ok, Dee, that sounds like all sunshine and roses and something some new age guru would say, but HOW do we heal ourselves and the world??
Well, although I’m certainly not a new-age guru and I very definitely do not hold the keys to the kingdom when it comes to world healing, I do have a few ideas on the subject, so I’m really glad you asked!
Here are ways that I try to implement every single day in my quest and pledge to make a positive difference in our world:
1) I work on me. I watch for ego, prejudice, anger, resentment, lack of patience, and a host of other ‘qualities’ that I am aware of in myself. When I see one, I try to figure out where it’s coming from, root it out and neutralize it. This isn’t easy – it’s work – hard work.
And there are countless guides from great spiritual leaders that can help you with this task. (Two I would recommend learning form include Deepak Chopra and Carolyn Myss.) I simply know that I will have a very hard time being kind to someone else if I’m resentful or angry. Or that it is impossible to truly give of myself to help another if my ego is up there saying, “wow, folks will think I’m a great person if I do this!” So, rule one, work on me.
2) I try very hard to watch what I say and what I think. Words have power! Suffice it to say that I believe that every thought, every word and every action has an equal reaction.
We, and our world, are made of energy (basic quantum physics), and each of us, each living being on this planet, is constantly emanating energy. We human beings have the unique power of choice as to what energy we send out. I try hard to make that energy positive and healing as much as I am able to do so.
3) As Carolyn Myss says, “Make time every day for the Sacred.” Whether that sacred time is prayer, the sending of compassionate, loving and/or healing energy, meditation, a walk in the beauty of nature…whatever your definition of sacred and Divinity – make time for it every single day. This is something so crucial to our own healing and spirituality that it cannot be over-stated. And it is, in my opinion, an absolute requirement in the success of points 1 and 2 above.
4) Listen, comfort and smile. One of the easiest, and seemingly least seldom employed, ways of healing ourselves and those around us (and thereby helping to heal our world) is to start right where you are and who you are with. Listen instead of talk. Accept instead of judge. Smile instead of frown. Encourage instead of berate. Start with your mate, your children, your parents, your friends, your neighbors. So simple and so very lacking in our world today.
5) Treat all you meet today with courtesy and respect. On the road, slow down to let someone over and simply grit out a “bless you” when they cut you off, causing you to nearly hit them and then they flip you the finger. Look a cashier in the eye in the check out line when you are saying ‘thank you.’ Respond to rudeness with a deep breath, a smile and quick prayer of ‘heaven bless you and make your day better’.
6) Watch 30 minutes of news or read a newspaper and for each hurt or obscenity against another human being that is reported, say a prayer for the victim(s), the family of the victim(s) AND the alleged perpetrator of the crime and his/her family. Why? Because whether we’re talking about a victim or the person who committed the crime, we are always talking about human beings – people with families, parents, brothers and sisters. Guilt or innocence is irrelevant in this particular action.
Trust me, I know how tough it is to say a prayer for someone who is thought to have kidnapped and murdered a child. Sometimes all I can make myself do is a breathe a “please, god, help them” whereas I can pray at length for the child and his/her family – and that’s ok. Hate the action, have compassion on the person. (Please note that I use the word ‘prayer’ a lot – and that is what I term it. But it is a word, please replace it with ‘healing energy’, ‘love energy’, meditate, or whatever term best fits your belief system).
7) Support a cause, a charity, sponsor a child, attend charity fund-raisers, join a community devoted to helping to heal our world – do whatever you can, what you can afford, what you have time for.
No act of kindness or compassion, no gift freely given – whether it be of money, time or yourself – is too small to have an impact.
Something to think about…
If every person on the planet stopped believing they could do nothing and began doing what they had the time and resources to do – what would our world look like?
Again, the answer to the question, “Heal the World? Who? Me??” is a resounding and emphatic, YES!
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