Every now and then I need to be grounded, to find what is real and important in life. In a time of controversy and divergence, it is easy to view the world as a conflicted web of despair especially if, like me, you view a daily news source. Being inundated with details of humanities worst offenders is taxing on us mentally, physically and emotionally. I want to be a positive influence in the world, but sometimes, it seems impossible. As an individual, I don’t know how to combat the root causes of poverty. I wish I had the answer to drug use and overdose. And I certainly can’t provide enough love for every child or animal in an abusive situation. How can I help? Where do I start?
How we respond to these negative stimuli truly defines our personal and professional character. Should we escape to social media to tune out reality only to become entangled in destructive online discussions? Do we internalize the information but fail to develop a constructive outlet for the burden it places on our heart? Clearly, these options tend to cause more stress in our lives and tension in our relationships.
I don’t have a degree in psychology and I’m by no means a therapist, but I would like to share where I have found success in these struggles. I know that I have to first recognize that my life is valuable and I am fortunate. I have a forgiving family that I love tenderly and that I can depend on – even if we don’t always agree. I have a warm home with a bed, a closet full of clothing and a refrigerator full of food that I can access at my leisure. I have a car that starts every morning and the financial stability to maintain it. I have a fulfilling career that I love and coworkers that are supportive. I am tremendously blessed!
I also know that I can make a difference. Gandhi said it best, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I am far from perfect – my family can attest to that. But if I strive to lead by example I also have to maintain the highest standards for myself. I try to smile at everyone regardless of my experience in that moment. I can share with others what I have in excess. I can provide compassion for the pain I witness. I can educate myself and on multiculturalism to avoid becoming part of the larger problem. I can be a vigilant member of my global village.
To come to many of these personal realizations, it’s helpful to take time for reflection. Many couples have found the simplicity of the Speckled Hen Inn and its natural landscape a welcomed retreat from urban life. The solace and awe of nature can be an essential component to restoring radiance back into our life. It reminds me of the blessings this world has afforded me. For that, I am thankful.