Good vs. Better

I really want to believe that for most, we have the desire to begin our own personal journey from a place of goodness.  Then life happens.  Outside influences begin to create a recipe that,when stirred in to our daily lives, begins to bake up a concoction that can end up sweet, bitter, undercooked or tough and hard to swallow.

There is no doubt that our communities, our state (in this case California), our nation and our world is facing many struggles.  We hear about various issues all day everyday.  The press is adroit at bringing us the [bad] news.  They seem determined to make sure we don’t miss it.  It’s endlessly repeated, ad naseum.  News often seems to come at us from all directions.  Today radio, social media and an endless number of TV channels and the Internet helps to present the messages they want us to have out to each of us, young and old alike.  It can be overwhelming.  More importantly, it can be overwhelmingly bad.

So now we have a situation where good people are not better.  Good people are influenced to choose a reaction to an action that comes to us in whatever form.  We are asked to take a stand politically, socially, economically, spiritually, pscychologically, medically, ethically, etc., etc.  For example, as parents we might be asked to take a stand on a teacher or administrator’s position, with no other training than common sense as our tools and/or the pressure from community and what we can hope to believe we hear.  In today’s world, where the highest education is encouraged and often mandatory for a person’s success, we are often critiqued by layman with no experience in the issue.  As a result, common sense is clouded.  Our views are skewed.  An otherwise sunny day is now gloomy and grey from the pollution we may not see visibly but know is lurking in the form of a colorless and odorless fog permeating our atmosphere.

As I wonder what I can do myself to affect good becoming better I realize that most times I feel powerless.  Can I make positive change?  I don’t know.  So what do I know?  I can start by making the good in me better.  I may not be able to stop the hatefulness in the world but I can certainly stop the hatefulness in myself.  Does that translate to letting someone else disrespect me?  No.  It means that I can respect myself and those I encounter rather than assuming (as the news might have you believing) a stranger I encounter may only have hate and be ready to disrespect me, or worse.   It is my personal responsibility to be ready for either but I will hope for the better.  I will lead by example and with a genuine smile and hope that it is contagious (not unlike whatever virus we are all reportedly sure to die from today).

After a tough day we can choose to relax and be spoon fed the opinion of the day.  We can end our day with a fitful sleep overwhelmed with the sense of the helplessness it creates.  This can leave us angry or it can be the stimulus to begin change.   Today we also have an opportunity to learn from it.  We can You-tube the how-to of anything imaginable and learn from it.  We can seek out the possible change.  We are all gifted with the ability to make that choice.  We can nurture and offer rather than control and oppress.  Can we hope to express individuality without the need to control others?  Can we respect each other’s differences while respecting ourselves and not feel threatened while maintaining our awareness?  

I think we can.  I think that’s what will make each of us, our state, our nation, our world, in the long run, not just good, but better [or sadly, not].  Don’t be confused by our “global” situation or your space in it or your age in it.  It still must begin with you and me.  The speck of sand that makes us all – in the end – a “beach” of one.

I’m Decidedly Debra and these are my thoughts today.  I welcome your comments.

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