I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the world and the different ways people view and deal with its problems. A recent blog post (and I’m terribly sorry — can’t remember whose post) contemplated the glass half full/half empty syndrome. It led me to think about how positive thinking is often equated with the half full outlook and pessimism or negativity with the half empty. She pointed out that actually such a glass is half full of water and half full of air so the glass is completely full. So a third way of looking at it.
That got me pondering a difference I keep encountering among me and my spiritual journey friends. I know lots of people who believe in keeping up with the news and who get hot under the collar over many issues and also talk a lot about the terrible problems of the world and how we have to do this that and the other thing to “fix” it/them. I spent many years as an activist so I not only get that point of view but my knee jerk reaction often leans that way.
I’ve written in other posts (here and here) about my changing beliefs; that I now question the answers we’re always dreaming up to solve other people’s problems and that I am less enthusiastic about working for change. I want to be really clear that this is my answer for myself to these questions. Lots of people open their hearts and work hard for what they believe is right and I am not dissing that or saying they’re wrong and I’m right. I believe in a world where there isn’t one right but one where many paths and choices can all be right at the same time.
I really believe that thoughts create reality or, in more current lingo, that we attract things to our lives and into the world by the nature of our thoughts and the feelings behind them. So for me, if I read the news and think constantly that the environment is being destroyed, cruel people are constantly mistreating others, wars are endless, etc., then I feel like I’m drawing more of those things into the world.
And the thing is I see a different world. I began noticing when I started taking Yoga Journal not long after I began yoga in 1986 that a sub-group exists that could be seen in the ads and articles quite readily. A world of businesses and services that reflect a different way of doing business and that provide products desired by people who want to be healthier and live greener and find peace, etc. And over the 27 years since then I’ve watched that sub-world grow and grow.
Now I see it every day in blog posts from around the world that seek peace, enlightenment, a different way. In painters and sculptors, composers and musicians, dancers and poets whose art reflects a world of spirit and journey and divine peace. I see more and more meditation centers and yoga studios. I see a world in which millions of people are seeking peace, finding brilliant answers for environmental questions and social issues, doing heroic things to help others.
When people tell me I need to face the “real” stuff that’s in the newspapers, I think, “aren’t we real? The significant portion of the world that’s living this new paradigm is here and living and breathing and real. If we’re not in the news what does that say about the ‘reality’ of the news?”
I think that every person who clears away anger, fear, hatred, etc. from his or her own life and raises his/her vibration contributes greatly to the world and to peace. So while working for social change or volunteering, etc. is one way to contribute, I don’t believe it’s the only way. And for me, right now, until I see more clearly a way to know for sure that the answers I might push on other people are right in the divine sense, I prefer to see the side of the world that’s already transforming and to celebrate its reality.