I’ve been thinking so much about the various news stories splayed across the headlines lately.
It seems no matter where you are across the globe, there is a story about something negative. Gorillas, alligators, mass shootings, politics, health care, animal cruelty, unemployment, gun control… I could go on, but I won’t. You know what the headlines and the horrors are in the world. You know that behind every headline is so much more of the story than we will ever know from reading the news. Maybe those stories are somehow better than what is presented; maybe they are worse. But at the end of the day, no matter the story, the overarching problem I see is that the world is sick.
I have a vague memory of a cartoon drawing of the earth with a cold – or something – and that’s what comes to mind lately. Our world is sick and it needs some kind of remedy. But what? I see quotes and memes go by on my computer screen all the time suggesting what might help: The world needs love. The world needs faith. The world needs compassion.
It’s all true.
But how do we begin to heal a world that on some days seems so far gone?
As I prepared to write this post over the last few weeks, this question goaded me and made me forget every idea I thought I had to share here. I couldn’t help coming back to this nagging question of what must we DO in order to help our world, help one another?
We need to get back to basics. We need to start with the closest, simplest task and that is to heal our Selves.
My #1000Speak posts tend to focus on self-compassion and I suppose my words here will be no different. If we want to see change on a global level, we have to start on a personal level. As I thought more and more about this, I suddenly remembered some words I encounter very often at a place I visit regularly, but rarely take time to see. The words I’ll share with you here are from Robert Rodale and his wife, Ardath Harter Rodale, two people who dedicated their lives to improving not only their own lives, but the lives of others in various ways. Consider how their words might be applied on a very intimate, individual, and personal level, but also consider how they might be applied on a much larger scale.
“Health is the ability to find superior powers of body and mind and to use them for full, fruitful, and enjoyable living.”
“Every living thing has an inner urge to get better. To renew. To use the power of life to heal from within.”
“May your eyes be filled with the light of sunshine to invigorate every part of your body, mind, and spirit.”
“May health and love flow through your veins to bring you peace and harmony.”
~Ardath Harter Rodale
I know, I know. Given the magnitude and frequency of negativity in the headlines lately, how can we think that such simple and wholesome ideas would make a difference? How is it possible to believe there is such light and hope and power in the world when there is so much evidence to the contrary? Maybe if we can take even just a little bit of that positive thinking, that conviction that all living things have the potential for good, for change, and for health, we might see the world – and the people in it – in a different light. Maybe we can be gentler with ourselves, kinder and more compassionate to one another, more understanding and accepting of ourselves and of one another.
What we need is a good old fashioned home remedy like Grandma’s chicken soup or hot tea with lemon. There may not be much proof of whether or not it will work, but it can’t hurt to hope and it can’t hurt to try. Try compassion. Try kindness. Try love. See if it helps. See if it makes you feel better. It certainly can’t make things any worse.
This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better, more compassionate world.
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Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook
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This month’s link up is open and ready for your posts and will remain open until June 28th. To join in the Link-up and read more posts, click the blue button below and follow the instructions.