“There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it hardly behooves any of us, to speak ill of the rest of us.” ~ Edward Wallis Hoch.
We are living in some interesting times. At times of great change and uncertainty, some of us get fearful and feel threatened, unable to cope with new realities. Karl Marx said that “Force is the midwife of an old society pregnant with a new one”, and we may be seeing the force exhibited by those resisting the new. But for those who are hurt in the struggle, the bright side is hard to see.
But even as we mourn lives lost in acts of violence; and celebrate acts of bravery and defiance, from churches burned down to symbols of hatred pulled down, can we really hope for an honest conversation? Is it too much to ask for a society where all citizens have the right to the same hopes and dreams, all children have the opportunities to live their best life?
Facebook is an interesting social environment, where people feel free to share positive life-affirming sayings, to post uplifting videos featuring talented babies and cute puppies. But it is also a place where people post hurtful words and images without thinking of their impact. Fortunately we can ‘hide’, ‘delete’ and ‘unfriend’ if necessary. But I heard about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that videos and images that are posted to websites like YouTube and Facebook do not go beyond merely distasteful and unpleasant. There are people hired to do nothing but review and pull down the truly obscene, the offensively depraved, the perverted pornography and cruelty that some people try to upload. Can you imagine a job where all you did all day was look at the worst that mankind has to display? These jobs can take a serious toll on the mental health of the workers. Some firms will only hire them for yearlong contracts, to avoid the longterm damage. Others provide counseling.
I have friends who still avoid social media sites like the plague, refusing to be drawn in. For me it has been a source of surprise encounters, reunions with long lost friends, and at times there have been unexpected blessings as chance encounters turn into friendships or amazing opportunities. I am hopeful that one such blessing may finally lead to the publication of my Friday Morning Messages!
But we have to be open to the possibilities, and even though some caution is needed, we need an open mind and an open heart to be able to make the most of the prospects that may arise. Recently I found a workout motivator who incorporates positive affirmations along with aerobic conditioning. One of her mantras is “I throw away the old,” and “I make way for the new”. By holding on to old thoughts and ways, we block the chances for new and more expansive ways of living.
This Holiday weekend, I hope that you can see the possibilities and embrace them, not being scared by changing times. I hope you can respect the ideas and beliefs of others, even if they run counter to your own personal values, for who are we to judge the life and choices of another? I hope you can demonstrate a different way of being in the world, one which shines by example and lights the way for others to be bigger and better. For we all need each other to be the best that we can be. And as always, that which I hope for you, I also hope for myself!
May you have a wonderful and safe weekend, Family.