I recently came across a post stating, “this is a bad year.”
Though I don’t disagree that bad things have happened this year, I can’t fully commit to such a bold statement as the entire year being bad.
Or perhaps, I’m just looking at it from a more critical standpoint?
A protest for example, is a collaborative effort between cultures standing together for justice.
The police force has made efforts, though not always headline news, to reinforce their code of conduct: to protect and serve.
Most citizens are respecting the rights of others, choosing to wear masks, in the fight against COVID-19.
The government is making attempts to sustain our American way of life through relief programs and continued unemployment benefits—even though at times it may feel like not enough—granting enough security to survive.
I’ve seen a number of portable facilities spring up in mainly homeless areas of Los Angeles, which does not solve the issue, but certainly shows hope.
What I am getting at is even in our darkest times, there are signs of hope.
Hope which we can and should not disregard as a complete and utter bad year.
If anything, I’d say, there is an awakening taking place.
What I see from an observers eye is an awakening of people who, regardless of the hardships, struggle, and inability to make concrete sense of all the senseless acts that have been occurring, realize a need for change and progression forward as a human race.
We are all struggling, regardless of another’s grass, I repeat,
we are all struggling.
But with struggle comes realizations. And with realization comes understanding. And with understanding comes progress.
Through common ground and communication I know there is hope, for you, and I, and the suffering on all sides.
It struck me odd today when a friend told me they envy my ability to travel where in turn I assured them, not everything is as it may seem, and that I too am struggling, only I choose a different point in which to view my current state of awareness.
You don’t have to travel far to climb a mountain or swim in a lake, or wake to see the most beautiful sunrise, or even lend a hand to someone less fortunate, because these are natural and always there waiting for you to take action.
Rather than saying, “this year is a bad year,” I suggest taking a deeper look and the time to realize that progress is happening.
And though progress may seem difficult, remain hopeful, my friends.
Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.
Greet a stranger as he were your family, with arms stretched wide in abundance.
Be the light at the end of the tunnel, the light which shines even in our darkest of times.
Be the air of peace in which we’re all capable of breathing.
Have you ever noticed that the thing you are most excited to share with another person, be it a new book, movie, podcast, idea, or what you think happens to be something to be considered “the greatest,” that their excitement never quite matches your own?
Of course you have. We’re all human.
And have you ever noticed that upon showcasing this thought or idea to another that when you do, their reaction never quite lives up to your expectation, which leaves you feeling either hurt or discouraged?
I will not take it upon myself to assume that you have though I will tell you this: I have.
And it’s a very tough thing to understand.
In the moment of realization that your appreciation for something you deem extraordinary hasn’t been deeply felt in the same way by another can often cause conflict, misunderstanding, and judgement—that is reactionary rather than honest.
Instead of expressing our pain for what seems a lack of appreciation in the moment, we often turn to criticism, which is in itself a form of false pride.
Rather than saying, “I’m confused as to why you don’t feel the way I do about what I’m showing you,” one says, “well, of course you don’t get it,” or more often than not, we say nothing, letting our emotions fester to distress and shame.
In the Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes: “It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil, it’s what comes out of their mouths that is.”
Well if that’s not the boldest yet truest statement to have ever been penned than I implore you to enlighten me as I’ve found myself in this predicament more times than I am willing to admit.
My point is, we can’t expect another’s reaction to mirror our own.
We shouldn’t expect them to for the simple fact that they are their own person, with their own background, beliefs, and experiences that before judgement deserve appreciation and due time to process and articulate what is being presented.
What took the time to find, understand, and appreciate should also be granted—the time—to another.
It’s like telling someone rather than suggesting someone read a book.
Your willingness to share does not determine one’s willingness to receive.
It’s like giving someone the answer without allowing them to solve the equation.
The ability to discover is a gift in itself and it’s that same gift of discovery that makes our individual perception unique.
So the next time you offer someone a gift, regardless of their reaction, remember who you’re sharing it with and why you chose them to share it with you all over again.
I think then you will find an even deeper appreciation for yourself and another.