Today I want to share a question that was posed recently on an internet forum that I read. The following is an edited version of the original question/statement that was put up for discussion.
“So many people seem to be in such dire straits with health – physical, mental, emotional and monetary problems. Why? Do you honestly think it is normal? I don’t. I think that the world is in melt down.
So much hatred and heartache in the world, the home, the streets and the schools ,these days.
I think that if we could go back to a simpler life of less things and more love and understanding then we would need less drugs for depression, anxiety and emotional related illness.
The word dis-ease is of course a body not at ease, not happy, not content, not reaching its potential and of course we all know the health system is buckling under the weight of diseases.
So why is humanity doing this do you think? We are clever and we do have choices about how we live and how we work and live in our family units and amongst our friends and in our communities and the wider world.
What are people’s agendas? Is progress the be all and end all of humanity, if in the end it only causes destruction? I think that we have gone too far and that it is time to pull back from the vortex we are hurtling towards.”
I found this quite confronting and to be honest, downright depressing. Several people responded and added their view of what was wrong with the world and I could literally feel myself being dragged down.
So I took a dose of my own advice, wrote the following response and immediately felt better.
“There are problems – there have always been problems.
Most of the issues have been thoughtfully identified in preceding posts. (Original forum discussion not copied here).
So, what to do about it? Whinge? Wring our hands? Worry? These are not productive responses and will only drag you into the downward spiral with everyone and everything else.
Take a step back and heed Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
I do not believe that ‘Dropping out’ is a solution. We are essentially a social species and are not wired to live in isolation.
Make small, incremental changes that are sustainable, otherwise you will be overwhelmed and setting yourself up for failure.
Turn off the TV – or at least skip the advertisements
Do not buy magazines
Limit your exposure to news coverage
Shop during conventional hours (Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-12)
Support businesses that only open during those hours
Turn off your mobile phone/internet for set periods so that you are not connected constantly
Reach out to your neighbours
Give something back to your community – volunteer?
Participate in local activities
Eat simple meals
It is difficult to change the sense of entitlement, constant anger, greediness etc that we see in the world.
Practise the sorts of things I have mentioned
Model positive behaviours to your children, family, friends and neighbours
You will feel calmer, more resilient and positive
This may be the first drip of a new flood
If everyone who is concerned about the direction that society is headed makes positive changes we can make a difference. We are the society.”
What do you think? I am genuinely interested in how you view society today. Are we all agents of our own self-destruction? Can we change things or do we need to? Are you perfectly happy with your life and your place in the world at large?
Great post Fairy and I actually avoided that discussion as I choose not to succumb to the Doom and Gloom mentality. Yes there are things that I don’t like and attitudes I deplore, but I am busy being a little stone in my pond sending out positive ripples to those in my world by my actions and words…well most of the time!
Nice one, Barb. A stone in your little pond. I have a gorgeous mental picture to remind me of this excellent idea.
Keep up the positivity! 🙂
Really inspiring. It’s hard not to buckle under the weight of what’s wrong with the world. I think all we can do is change our own lives and hope to inspire others, including our children. My children know that I help at a soup kitchen once a week. But I would never force the full reality of the world onto them at a young age (eg eat your dinner, people are starving in Africa) I think a preachy attitude rarely changes the opinions or behaviours of others. Quietly changing the small bits of the world that you can influence is my preferred approach. We buy british, we eat little meat, my children have a home cooked (no nuggets here!) meal every day. I hope that they will grow to appreciate where their food comes from and how each of us impacts on society and the world. Thanks for sharing.
Welcome, Kate. It is lovely to hear from you. I love the way you are just getting on and doing your bit (and setting a great example to your children) rather than whinging about all that is wrong.
Keep up the good work and the positive attitude.
You are so right in saying these things are very confronting and we have to do something to stop the downward trend we all find ourselves in. I believe if we all live the best life we can we are contributing to a better world, every smile and good deed helps someone.
As for volunteering, I am now retired and I work in a Red Cross charity shop, deliver meals on wheels and visit our local Nursing Home with my little dog and the pleasure it gives me is impossible to measure. My advice to anyone thinking of volunteering is, give it a go. You meet some wonderful people.
My own mantra is – if we all do a little a lot gets done.
I love your blog, you are an inspiration.
Thank you for your kind words, Marilyn.
If we all do a little bit we will make a difference.
Let’s do it!
I think your response was perfect. I do think things are getting worse, I used to be able to tell how bad the economy really was by how many bank robberies took place preceding Christmas in our area. Our economy is in worse shape than back in those years that I used bank robberies to gauge the situation and as a result we are seeing more and more crime, suicides etc. To reverse this trend, we need to lower our expectations of what we expected life to give us (financially and materialistically). When, as a society, we find we can be happier with less, and get rid of the entitlement mentality, we will see a reduction in the problems everyone mentioned above.
Of all the items you mentioned avoidance of advertising is probably the first place people should start. When you aren’t receiving the message that you need X, Y or Z to be happy you aren’t longing for those items and will be happier with what you have. We need to stop measuring our happiness by what we own and keeping up with others.
The media really does have a lot to answer for, doesn’t it?
Simple really – don’t receive the message=reduced expectations and sense of entitlement and suddenly the world is a better place.
Simplistic? Maybe, but not a bad place to start.
Thanks for your insight.
Fairy, that is quite an understatement, the media has A LOT to answer for at least here in the US.
reminds me of a sermon my pastor gave a while back. She held up a recent newspaper with a headline that read, “Climate of Fear.” She made the point that this always seems to be the case, there are always things to be afraid of. Sure, we can catastrophize, but working to change our little corner of the world to make it safer and more pleasant for ourselves and those we care about will make us much happier.
‘Climate of Fear’ – that really sums it up beautifully. Let’s unsubscribe!
Fairy I totally agree with you. Especially ‘Limit exposure to news coverage’. My stepson is a cameraman for one of the TV channels here in South Australia and basically their news department will not send cameramen out unless there has been a fatality or a human drama. It’s the old saying ‘Good news never made a paper sell’. I also advocate opting out of (Un) Social Media. I used to have a FB account but after having my personal details hacked and my computer with a fatal virus directly linked to FB I deleted my account and you know I haven’t missed it. Thank you for taking the time to post this sage advice 🙂
My suggestions were in particular order but I agree that making a decision about limiting exposure to all types of media (including Facebook etc) is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
I so agree Fairy. We are all on a hamster wheel, and instead of just running and complaining, perhaps it is time to step off and reassess. Simplify. Take a stand. Strip back to the basics. Incremental change from each person will add up. One person can change the world, history has shown it. Start where you are, with what you have, and do what you can.
Time to get off the hamster wheel (great analogy) and yes, we can make a difference.
When I read this, I felt anything but doom and gloom in my own life. I felt secure and content and warm. I felt happy to have leftovers to heat up for dinner. I was ok with my own company and simple pleasures (well not that simple, but playing cards on my phone, listening to the radio, reading and watching TV – not the news, I’ve not really even seen images of Boston). I feel like I create my own life – sure I work daily, but not that hard. I get paid well, I cover my costs, and save some. I spoil myself occasionally, so I don’t feel deprived. I try to minimize my waste, and eat healthy and exercise. I think other people complain cause it’s easier than trying to change, or taking responsibility. I think a lot of things just depend on what lens you look through.
A fabulous attitude, Sarah, and setting a great example. I wish more people take the same responsible approach to their lives.
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Be he change that you wan to see is my favorite quote.