Do we notice what we say, do and think in a day? Where we spend our time, energy and resources tells us what we value. Do our actions, words and thoughts impact our world, our family, our experiences? Often we hear we want the world to change, yet somehow that can seem beyond our control or influence. Yet lately it feels the world has stopped business as usual, maybe in order for us to take the time to look and see what is and is not working for our human world.
Whether we choose to be intentional or unintentional with our time, thoughts, energy and resources it is doubtful our world can be as it was before. What is the world we want to be part? Many of us had the illusion the world we lived in matched more closely what Disney movies showed us. Yet we are starting to better see that Disney movies hardly resembled anyone’s truth. Yet in seeing there has been a bigger underbelly than we fully realized, we also acknowledge it is now seeing the light of day. And it can feel like chaos. And with the light and chaos comes opportunity.
We can choose to be part of moving this “ship” around to better reflect what we want more of in this world. And we need be honest too in noticing how we could choose words, thoughts and actions to better support the world we say we want. We do have an impact.
“A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will. ” -Proverb
In these uncertain times, changing our minds might be the way to change the world to be one that works for everyone. As we are physical distancing and sheltering in place, we have a different kind of time on our hands. Maybe we are noticing more of who and what is around us. We might be more and more aware every day how the world has not been working for our families, ourselves and those marginalized including the hungry, homeless and sick among us. Maybe we saw it but weren’t sure what to do or how to help. We were overwhelmed. Systems were in place and clearly not working. And now everything has stopped. S T O P P E D.
Yet every system, procedure, even belief we have was imagined or told to us by a person. We can re-examine everything. Man-made systems, rules, laws, institutions, policies etc. And when they don’t work or no longer work, we can change them. With new thinking and the will to follow through we can change our minds and change our lives. At the micro and macro levels. We often try hard to change a person or a system rather than ourselves but far easier to change ourselves for long range change. Now we have the time to contemplate what we need, can do and can think differently about in order to have the relationships, communities and kinder world we say we want.
“Recognizing the power of our minds means that even as unfortunate or terrible things happen to us, we can receive them in a more spacious and ultimately more enlightened way. The Budda taught his students to develop a power of love so strong that the mind becomes like space that cannot be tainted. If someone throws paint, it is not the air that will change color. Space will not hold the paint; it will not grasp it in any way. Only the walls, the barriers to space, can be affected by the paint.”
quoted from Lovingkindness (page 122) by Sharon Salzberg