Taking a Stance
Sometimes when you write a blog, it just spews right out of your fingers and onto...well, the keyboard these days, because no matter how old fashioned I am, paper is somewhat wasteful and I have to type it later anyway. So sometimes it flows easy and sometimes it’s based on a thought that has to sit with you for a while, so that you can decide how you actually feel about it and what you want to say. Brain sauerkraut really, just a bunch of ideas mixed together and made to ferment for a while, ya know, till they’re ready.
I created a fermented blog a while ago and I think it’s time to revisit that thought cabbage. The idea behind the blog was to discuss sustainable thought. For the full story, you can click here and peruse at your heart’s content. But for those with fewer reading minutes whom I haven’t already lost, one of the pieces I’ve really retained from that blog is this: humans need hope. Simple some might say, and I wouldn’t disagree, but I think this bit goes deeper. Humans need a future, they need to believe that tomorrow could be better, that improvement and accomplishment are attainable aspects and one that will come to fruition. It’s how we feel about jobs, life, relationships… it’s the missing piece in fulfillment and commitment for some...and can relate to everything!
That job where you’ve hit the glass ceiling, the relationship you know won’t go anywhere, we’ve all been there and the unhappiness and frustration that can well up without a solid reason is quite simply just a lack of hope, a lack of seeing yourself there in the future, and therefore a lack of commitment to personally fixing it, making it better.
I feel this idea is not only appropriate, but important in our current world, no matter which side of the coin you like to land. In many ways, it seems like the walls are crashing in: the environment is degrading around us, the media assures us that nothing but hate and violence occurs each and every day, not only in our country, but all over the world. More people are barely scraping by and the sentiment of blame and frustration is more than palpable in most cities… so how is it that we can be happy, how is it that we can find hope?
We must create it.
This sounds very abstract and it certainly will stay that way until you make it real! Hope is found in many places...in the everlasting mountains that feel so strong and sturdy, at a little league game with our mini-me future investments actually trying their hardest without a notion of recourse for failure (sorry that one might have hidden undertones), when someone says ‘thank you’ and really means it. Hope can be present at the graduation of your daughter with the thought of her future ...or simply gleaned from learning that other people are doing really good things in the world!
It’s amazing how your perception can change when surrounded by little positive things. And if those seemingly insignificant occurrences can change your outlook, just think of what it could do for others! The more good, the more hope that surrounds you, the better you feel. The better you feel, the better you treat others, the more encouraged they are to reach out and make a change as well! It’s all a vicious cycle, but for once in a really helpful sense!
Some people will say that the doom and gloom are all just too overwhelming. And they’re not wrong. But you have to make a dent. Cliche or not, Ghandi was not wrong when he said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The little things, those tiny sprinkles of hope that you see throughout the day can easily overwhelm your fated cupcake. Be the sprinkles people!
Now let’s be real, not all of us have the time or the energy to just go and start something new, something that’s never been done, something that could help others...but why not? People around you are doing it every day. Millions of organizations exist that promote health for children in developing nations and here in the US of A, others are striving to save the oceans from our overconsumption of plastics, thousands are volunteering at soup kitchens, schools, community gardens… where do they find the time? They make it. Just like you have to create hope, you must create the space in your life, allow yourself to do good things! Commit. Be the hope.
We all get caught up in ‘priorities’...allll of us. It’s chores, it’s family, it’s work...it will always be something.
When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to go to Camp Kitaki every summer (shout out to my camp peeps!). The director would stand up in front of the whole camp with a big glass jar in his hands. On the table in front of him were a few large rocks, some medium ones, and a lot of sand. The big rocks represented the most important things in your life, the medium ones lesser things, and the sand was clearly the small stuff.
The jar… was your life. To cut to the chase, when you attempt to fill the jar with the sand first, or even the medium rocks, you could never seem to maneuver all the big rocks into place. But when you start with the big rocks….
Make hope a big rock.
When you see goodness and progress and a brighter tomorrow happening around you, be part of it! And when you don’t, start it.
Has the world become an uncertain place to live? F**ck yeah it has. But it is not without hope! And the only way to make that grow is to create it. Be the change. Be the cupcake sprinkles. Turn off your television and make some art.