Well fuck my actual life, it’s been one hell of a year. And when I say hell, it really has got close to a living hell for so many people around the world at so many moments. I know bad things have happened every year since the dawn of time but this particular year for me, globally, seems to be the worst by a mile. I don’t know why it seems to have all happened at once and why 2016 turned so dark. It started with the passing of so many inspirational people in the public eye, then followed by more terrorist attacks than I can count, then there were police in America murdering black people left right and center, political meltdowns (Brexit & Trump) and horrendous, never ending wars. It’s all so crazy and scary. Despite actively avoiding mainstream media I seem to be more conscious than ever. I purposely don’t watch/listen/read the news for many reasons (which may be the subject of a future blog). I only choose to read the Happy Newspaper because I want, wherever possible, to be reminded of the good in the world. But it’s very difficult to keep positive when you’re constantly bombarded. We live in an era when you can literally see history happening in real time. Just today I watched the Russian Ambassador to Turkey being assassinated. I’ve seen so many things this year that I wish I could un-see, I find my brain being clouded by thoughts of awful actions and frightening consequences which send me into turmoil.
It’s all a bit much. I feel helpless…
I’ve been listening to Christmas songs as part of embracing Christmas (See Blog: “The C Word”) and the ever amazing John Lennon keeps speaking to me. He keeps telling me “War is over, if you want it.” I’ve never understood that line. Like really John, of course we all want it but just wanting it won’t make it happen. I want white police officers to stop shooting young black men, I want massive oil companies to stop attacking Native Americans and taking their land, I want extremists to stop shooting and bombing people and I want our Governments to stop arming and fueling all this shit to begin with. But I’m just little me, who can’t even walk without tripping over her own feet, in a world of 7.4 billion people what difference can I possibly make?
I’ve stared at that last sentence for longer than I would have liked. What can I do? What can any of us, as individuals, actually do?
- Educate Ourselves – About politics, history, big business and opposite perspectives. We have a vote and we have spending power. We can vote with our voices and with pounds and pence. We have the chance to discuss what’s happening with other people but we need to be informed in order to have an educated discussion and to learn from others. We need to understand where people with opposite views are coming from. We need to know their struggle.
- Don’t Lose Perspective – There IS a lot of good in the world. We need to spend time finding the good and highlighting it. It’s not as readily available or as easily accessible as the bad but it is there in abundance. I’ve talked about how we shape our own reality (See Blog: “Thinking about Thought”) and I really believe that by shifting our perspective towards the good, we can create happier lives, families and communities which will have a bigger knock on effect.
- Do Good – I always thought the whole “Be-the-change-you-want-to-see-in-the-world” vibe was hippy bollocks but of course it’s not. Imagine (another great Lennon call-to-action) if every ONE person did ONE good thing tomorrow. It’s that simple. And even if I was the only person on the planet to do something good, that’d still be reason enough to do it. We need to remember to be a Daisy (see previous blog).
I really feel 2016 will be studied in history books. On what basis it is studied is now in our hands. It will either be studied as the year that started a dark period in human history or the year that was the catalyst for positive change. Let’s all play our parts in making sure it’s the latter.