Friday, May 21, 2010
News that Inspires
More often that not, the news episodes would leave me either with a feeling of a lot of anger at someone or something, or a feeling of complete and utter hopelessness about the state of affairs in this country and the world at large.
Needless to say, I feel better ever since I turned off the news. Perhaps a little less "informed," but the happier for it.
On the one hand, I can see that we are living in times where there is a lot of "bad news" to report. Or are we? Haven't there always been murders and wars? Haven't there always been storms and floods? Haven't there always been mindless rulers who have unleashed mayhem on a particular region of the world for personal ambition? Any top story today has its share of historical counterparts, in some form or another. The "baser" level of human consciousness continues to express itself in this world as it has since the ages, only in different circumstances and over different things.
So it's not like this is the first time in history that all of this stuff is happening. It seems to me, therefore, that for the media to portray an event as though it heralds the end of all things sane is misleading, to say the least. It's the "feeling" with which the reporting leaves me that I'm talking about. If a billion people walk away from their televisions at night feeling fearful, hopeless, and let down, imagine the effect of these emotions on the world's consciousness. Quite obviously, these emotions will feed the growing fear that already clogs world consciousness.
Wherever there are floods and cyclones, there's bound to be destruction. However, alongside the gloom, there will always be plenty of stories of hope to be told as well. I have seen these stories first hand and even been a part of some of them. I have seen that the power of love is far greater then the power of fear. To see people rebuild their lives after earthquakes, to watch others risk their own lives to save complete strangers, to witness simple acts of kindness to birds and animals... these are stories that I'd rather put my attention on each day.
What you put your attention on grows. A lot of spiritual paths tell us this. The more fear I feel now, the more I'm setting myself up to feel fearful in the future. The more hope I feel in this moment, the more I'm setting myself up to feel hopeful in the future too.
Imagine starting your day with a reminder that the world is, actually, a beautiful place where good things can happen anywhere and anytime. That a miracle is just round the corner. That each human being has the power to do so much good. Imagine teaching our children that no matter who you are, or which country you come from, you are a powerful person with the ability to make a positive difference to this world.
It's not hard to find inspiration, if only we're willing to free ourselves of prejudice and make space to be inspired! As I was writing this piece, I looked down at the floor for a second and saw a little ant clumsily walking beside my chair. It nearly looked drunk, barely able to walk straight. When I looked closer, I saw that it was carrying its fallen comrade to safety. The clumsiness of its gait suddenly seemed so purposeful.
Little tales of heroism are playing out all around us. As a matter of fact, ever since I put the paper away, I can see so many.
(Also posted on my blog.)