Mixed Media Collage titled “Midday Migration” by Jo Ann Brown-Scott
We are expecting high winds in the Denver area today – 40-60 miles per hour with gusts as high as 90 in the foothills of the Rockies. When the wind is angry like that, building up a furious intensity in the high mountains, blowing and spitting snow as it barrels down through the deep canyons just 15 minutes away from where I live, you can be sure it will race across the flatlands of Denver and its bedroom communities like the breath from a science fiction monster. Until recently I used to say how much I love weather drama, then the storms began – Katrina, the Tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan, Hurricane Sandy, epic Colorado flooding and the monumental typhoon in the Philippines. The big boy storms moved in and began their 100 year visits, skirting the globe, scouting for random selections. Things have changed in the world of weather.
How is your internal weather? Fair to partly cloudy? Sunny and warm?
Are there storms that rage inside? What is your emotional forecast? All that is happening with-out cannot help but be reflected with-in. Weather disasters, political lies and scandals, crime, personal loss and misfortune, unhealthy personal relationships – all of that and more – cause emotional mayhem, creating internal havoc and unease. Feeling powerless in the face of large scale situations is painfully frustrating and destructive. We receive a steady does of bad news every day, built upon the results of yesterday’s surprises, then we get “updates” on the lingering miseries of months ago and it goes on like a bad soap opera. Of course there are human interest stories of courage and hope….crumbs…. evidencing the generosity, kindness and resilience of human beings. Show me some good news and I will try to remember it as the rotten news piles up and fills the streets of my mind.
Your internal climate is important to your health and wellbeing. We all know that.
When you get knotted up like a ball of string, what do you do to cope? How do you get up in the morning willing to face another day? Tell me what keeps you standing upright when there is so much that tries to knock you down. Tell me how you sleep at night, in the warmth of your bed, when there are babies dying for lack of food. How do we go on? What gives us the strength to continue, knowing that we have so little power to facilitate change?
I will tell you that for me, for insignificant me, the deep belief that change can one day be achieved is based upon faith that every positive personal thought, every positive casual comment, every smile, every tear that you blot for someone else, every word of encouragement, every shoulder offered to lean on, every dollar spent wisely, every single hopeful contribution to every other person or situation that you encounter counts. I do absolutely believe, especially now in this golden age of communication, that what every person says and does and feels and thinks makes ripples around the globe. How could it not? I do not care what social status you enjoy or do not have, what you might have amassed in the way of wealth, what your home looks like, what wine you like to drink, what kind of designer shoes you might be wearing – I want to know if you care about your fellow man/woman enough to worry about how we are going to feed the children. We are all connected – we are all related – are we not all thinking about the same things? We all want our children to be fed, sheltered, clothed and educated. We all want peace, freedom and the opportunity to prosper. And by the way, all the children are yours and my children too.
The epiphany comes when you realize that if you, you who do not wear designer shoes, are only able to affect positive change within your relatively small circle, that is, in the eyes of the universe, still a worthy cause. Buddha would tell you that if he was standing right there in your living room. Gaining peace of mind amid worldly chaos is possible in the performance of even the tiniest, kindest gestures. In my recent travels I saw acts of kindness, randomly given, received with great thankfulness and astonishment. Doing nothing is not an option. There is no excuse for failing to contribute to the common good. Make yourself an ambassador. You do what you alone can do in the moment of opportunity, you become the example to be followed, you teach through positive action, you strive to understand how something turned wrong so that you might know how to make it right again….and yes perhaps then you become a human interest story on the news after all. Coping is often the same as contributing – they go hand in hand. Coping with worldly dysfunction can be as simple as being a small but mighty force in your own small world for the cause of reason and peace – a force that is strong enough in intensity to become a ripple that widens and travels outside your world. You will want to get up in the morning if you feel that your personal mission is to do good. Because you matter. Every person, prominent or not, who has accomplished positive change, had to realize in a grand moment of epiphany that they mattered.