Friday, July 15, 2016

But What Can I Do?

With all the horrible events taking place around us every day, we can easily become overwhelmed and overcome by apathy towards problems that seem to be beyond our control. It may be true that there is often little we can do to change the most immediate, direct behaviors that lead to tragic events. But, as you've likely heard many times before - the world is an interconnected web that encompasses all. None of us lives in an isolated vacuum. Our thoughts, actions, and choices DO have an impact - sometimes directly and often more indirectly - on the tragic events that surround us. 

When you ask yourself, "What can I do?", don't stop without an answer. This is your opportunity to do some soul searching and truly find what you CAN do.

Here are just a few things that most of us CAN do to promote a more peaceful world:

Make a commitment to practice attitudes and behaviors that promote peace: tolerance, humility, kindness, forgiveness,...  Meditation and prayer provide a powerful vehicle for instilling this practice in us.

Ask yourself if your peaceful goals are reflected to others through all your actions. A few behaviors most of us can improve upon to better reflect our better natures include:

  • restricting unkind and bitter commentary in social media and elsewhere (this doesn't mean that we cannot disagree - just that comments be respectful and constructive.) 
  • peaceful resolution of our personal conflicts and points of disagreement 
  • choosing consumption practices that favor conscience and responsibility over convenience and impulse
  • avoiding blaming others for ineffective problem solving while forgetting our own roles and limitations in addressing problems 
  • practicing love and forgiveness with ourselves first and then also with others 

Remember that EVERYTHING we do has an impact on the whole. So if you want to know what you CAN DO - simply remember the advice of Gandhi and "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

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