“… And these children
that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They’re quite aware
of what they’re going through…”
― David Bowie
“Turning a blind eye” vs. Taking Responsibility: According to Mental Health America, “Recent surveys indicate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression.” When I hear a statistic like this I feel a deep level of sadness. I wonder how many children feel invisible and what it takes for adults to recognize that this is all of our responsibility. From where I come from, It does not rest solely on the parents. Many parts of the society we have built do not lend themselves to promoting a happy race of people… let alone happy, enthusiastic, children. There are so many corrupt parts to this whole that, at times, it feels overwhelming. But, what more can one person do but, take responsibility for their part in it? And, so… I see that as our duty. Especially those of us who claim to be “adults”.
Embracing “You-nique-ness”: Are we as, “grown-ups”, more determined to declare authority or do we seek to build healthy space- within, and around, us to authentically express who we are and, in return, allow others to be rightfully seen and heard? I have no doubt that a healthy dose of structure does a human good but, not at the expense of stifling inner emotions…. Have we become overly- accustomed to how we “think” people should behave that we can no longer grasp the innate diversity of the human species? Have we lost all patience with ourselves and others? Has it become too laborious to contemplate the root of such distinct behavior that we push it to the side, put a label on it or attempt to conceal it by other means? All by which seems, to me, like a ploy to divert responsibility away from ourselves… a cop-out of sorts… and unto some “other” factor. But, is it our responsibility? To help guide children, by example, towards recognition of their feelings… or to teach them that “Rules must be Obeyed at any cost” ?
The way I see it… Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat: It is a natural part of life to be curious. But, how can we best utilize this natural instinct when we live in a world that condemns it? And, programs us at an early age into fictitious notions like “Curiosity killed the cat”. When we lose our curiosity, we become stagnant. We begin the process of being unimaginative. We can no longer step into the unknown because, we are dominated by fear. Fear that we may “do the wrong thing”, “say the wrong thing” or worse…”BE the wrong thing”. When we can rid ourselves of “right” and “wrong” and step into a more enlightened thought process we will see that most of these are dampening illusions. Self acceptance is a crucial step in our conscious evolution. It doesn’t come easy for some. And, sometimes it takes a whole-lot-of-life (and a fair amount of positive people) to help us see the good in ourselves. But, as Seuss put it best: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Be-coming better listeners: I am a grown (and always growing) woman and most of the time, i don’t feel heard by others. I recognize this is in part, and largely due to, my own inability to genuinely trust other people. When I contemplate this current reality (within myself) I sometimes feel the urge to move further away from people. But, the majority of the time… it makes me want to be a better listener. It instigates me to speak less and hear more… see with clearer vision- the things people are really trying to express- and also, adhere to the same principles in my interaction with children …
Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.
And, on another note: I bet more Americans know the thread count of their sheets than the homelessness rate in the country they live in. Well, According to statistics, “On any given night in America / US, anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless”. Does it help us sleep better at night to ignore it? Any more than it helps those without children turn a blind eye to the mess of a world our children are being raised in? No. It really doesn’t… or at least it doesn’t for me. Because, although I do have a bed to rest my head, it matters to me that some people don’t. And, although I don’t have children of my own yet, I still believe there is something I can do…. there is always some way for me to be of service, where it counts.
Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes: And, if we refuse to acknowledge truth (no matter how saddening it is) we can’t possibly be of service to the world in the most valuable way. So be it a child compelled to post a youtube video to express his angst or the homeless man on the street corner, so frequently ignored, let us begin to be that change we wish to see in the world… because we are made of so much more than hollow words and ignorance.
Practicing vs. Preaching: And so it goes… that giving advice is often ten times easier than taking it. We all know the drill. Our perspective gets jaded, with time, and we can’t often see how we are negating the “words of wisdom” we so eloquently spew out to our loved ones… But, the time for that to stop, was yesterday.
Examining the “Bare Necessities”: Oh, what a beautiful thing it is to recognize what it is we need. To become wise enough to say “i love myself, enough, to acknowledge that this is no longer serving me” or “These are the things that make me happy and I am worthy of this happiness”. In most of us there lies a deep seeded challenge- that somehow, we aren’t good enough to to feel abundant in life and in love. That we must constantly live in a state of “needing” or “wanting” or achieving. That, by some stretch of our imagination, our lives (right now) are not perfect. And, herein lies the biggest misconception we face. How can we find it in our hearts to appreciate the abundance that we have, today? How best can we heal, forgive, surrender, love, accept and receive the fullness of tapping into our potential?
When we choose to be guided by truth, we flourish on a journey that leads us to…
HEAL the parts of us that feed illusory happiness or unhappiness…
FORGIVE unruly expectations placed on ourselves, by ourselves, or by others
SURRENDER to the imperfect nature of being human and own it!
LOVE others as honestly as we can and ourselves as much as we possibly can…
ACCEPT those we cherish, and those we consider strangers, as our own…
RECEIVE in gratitude the gift of living (and breathing) and then give back to the world in the best way we can…
is to take what we need AND THEN… Give Back.
The world doesn’t need another statistic. It needs happy, grounded, loving people. It doesn’t need more kids taking orders, it needs more adults providing shelter, nourishment & real guidance. It needs less millionaires and more empathetic hearts. It needs more “real friends” and less “Facebook friends”. It needs more happy couples than married ones, happy homes than broken ones and more abundant individuals than lacking ones. It needs less “religion” and more god. It needs dreamers, and doers, risk takers, and a whole lot less fear. And, it needs each one of us to do our part- for the whole- to express our human-ness, honestly. Because, we effect the whole in many ways whether or not we acknowledge or deny it…
“We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. it is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more”- Woody Allen
So, let’s keep moving forward! Let us continue to soak up inspiration and be of inspiration to those around us! Let us love with whole hearts and give at any possible opportunity. Let’s thrive and endeavor to spend our whole lives seeking out our purpose. And, keep reminding ourselves (and others) that…
There are a million reasons, for us, to be here.