Take a deep breath, then slowly exhale. Take a moment away from the gloom, despair, and anxiety that seems to permeate the atmosphere these days. Take a moment to appreciate how good a breath of fresh air can be. Isn’t that just what you need; a breath of fresh air?
Notice the rest you find when you exhale? You can take some rest from the negativity, worry, and depression. You can take a break from the news, too. You can rest easy knowing that all that stuff will still be waiting for you when return from your break. You need rest and deserve a break regularly. Rest is part of your natural cycle as evidenced by your breathing and sleeping.
Sleep is good, but it is not sufficient rest in these troubled times. Sometimes you need to clear your mind so you can gain a new perspective on an old problem (meditation.) Sometimes you need to clear your mind to put anything and everything into a proper perspective (contemplation or reflection.) You need rest to maintain your sanity, so take a break.
Have you ever noticed how the word “peace” is normally associated with “quiet”? Carefully attend the things you hear in normal conversation during your day. People tend to focus on negative things that induce insecurity, anxiety, and worry. Rick Hanson PhD wrote that the human tendency to be negative is based on our natural instinct to watch for threats to our existence. Although this negativity may be explained by our human nature, it does not stop us from being driven to the desperate desire for “a little peace and quiet!” This is a sign that a rest break is imperative.
The sunniest days can seem dark, dismal, and depressing at times. It is sad that some people feel their only means to cope is through medications, alcohol, violence, and/or suicide. These solutions are not only bad for them, but they often result in an uglier world for the rest of us. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: let’s bring light and beauty into this dark and ugly world.
I am not suggesting that we all become artists: poets, painters, sculptors, or musicians. However, there are simple ways we all can bring beauty into the world everyday. As cliché as it may be, a smile can be infectious. My wife has a smile that always brightens my day, and her smile reminds me that I do not smile enough. I will have to work on that.
You must be the change you want to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi)
I find it hard not to smile when confronted by the smile of another. I once responded to another’s smile with a smile, then recognized the person as someone I didn’t like because of the trouble they caused me personally. Although a smile has great power, I do not think it has sufficient power to dispel the darkness of modern times, though.
I look to my wife for another example of bringing beauty into this world. I am biased, so I can find many ways she brings beauty into my life. However, to illustrate the principle I am trying to portray here, I must lean towards her cooking for it seems to bring pleasure to others as it does myself. She brings beauty into the world through an activity that many take for granted. This also makes me wonder how many people bring beauty into the world through activities that are taken for granted, and go unappreciated. It does seem that the natural instinct of humankind has them ignoring the beauty of the simple things in life, in favor of (or preference to) watching for “threats.”
It is also an ability of humankind to overcome their natural instincts; an ability that sets this species apart from others. It appears that we can blindly wallow in our natural instincts and depress the hell out of each other, or we can choose to live with a higher purpose. “To bring beauty into the world” seems like a good purpose, doesn’t it?
As I reflect upon this purpose, I realize that I have not been appreciative of how people bring beauty into the world apparently. I am not talking about professional ways, either (like poets, painters, sculptors, and musicians.) Professionals work for money, while the common person works out of a love. As an example: gardeners are people who work to bring beauty into the world because they like doing it, while landscapers are professionals. This is not to say that professionals do not love their professions. I’m simply looking for simply ways the general population tries to bring beauty into this world in simple ways.
I am a bit ashamed at how I am drawing a blank here. I do not seem to be very appreciative, so I must work to improve that, as well as find more ways to bring beauty into this world myself. In the meantime, perhaps you can contribute some ways everyday people try to bring beauty into the world? What do you do?