Recently, I’ve found myself glued to social media and the news. And as I sit here tonight, thinking about my life, about yours, about us, humanity as a whole, I have to wonder: What good have these platforms done for us? Is the constant feed of 24/7 news coverage enriching my life? Is it adding to my ability to perceive and feel happiness and peace? While being informed is not necessarily a bad thing, the content that reaches us through our devices isn’t always an accurate representation of what’s honestly happening in the world around us. I’ve lost sleep thinking about talking points, statistics, the struggles that myself and others are enduring on a regular basis. I’ve felt anger, resentment, and fear at the lack of regard for our fellow man that seems to be constantly on display. Sometimes it feels like we’ve honestly lost our way, as a people.
By and large, this points to a larger issue at hand. Standing by, allowing yourself to be bombarded with negativity, will breed negativity in your own life. This is an extremely simple, but often overlooked concept that is probably happening in your circle of existence at this moment. If I have an argument, if someone cuts me off on the freeway, flipping my phone or the radio on to listen to Donald Trump and Joe Biden argue for 90 minutes is probably not going to help me feel better. It will undoubtedly contribute to and perpetuate the feelings I’m already feeling. And how often, in a moment of boredom, of sadness, of loneliness, do we look to our device for distraction? Probably more than we’d like to admit. How often at this point in time is that content wholesome, unbiased, good news?
Probably not as often as we’d like. Now, with all that being said, I’m not an advocate for burying your head in the sand and pretending the world will just spin away on its axis without you. The world needs you. It needs positivity. It needs strength. It needs service minded people to lend a hand. It needs individuals to take a stand against wrong doings perpetrated amongst our brothers and sisters. It needs love, happiness, honesty, and goodwill among men. And those things still exist! They are the very antithesis to the gloom, despondency, and bleakness we experience all too often at this point in history. They might not be popping up on your newsfeed as much as the latest tabloid gossip or endless political examinations, but they are there. If we have the eyes to see, and the attention to turn away, we’ll witness remarkable acts of love everywhere we look. Perspective! When your day-to-day is filled with an insurmountable echo chamber of BS it’s hard to see the good in any given moment. It’s easy to become distracted and even enraged by the perceived injustice in the world. But if our thought-life is so easily distracted toward fruitless anger, who will be there to make a difference? Who will be there to lift up our brothers and sisters who are struggling?
Herein lies the challenge ahead of us this month. It is the month of what is undeniably the most contentious election this country has ever seen, while simultaneously being a month of Thanksgiving. Instead of indulging in our usual technological or material distractions, my hope and prayer for all of us, myself included, is that we may turn away from the bright rectangle of “information”, and turn toward the giving spirit of love. Of service. Let us be thankful, casting away our righteous indignation, and accepting the fact that people are fallible. People will disappoint us. Be they politicians, figureheads, celebrities, friends, or family – the end result remains the same. God is with us. He is among us. His spirit lives in the acts of service performed for others. Living with faith, hope, and courage that His will; and life will restore us is our truth. Regardless of what you believe, how you believe, or how you practice, we must embrace spirituality. We must embrace the beauty of the world outside our own limited view. We must embrace the oftentimes difficult quest of enlivening our Spiritual Walk, so that His light may shine through us unto others. I was saved by people who cared for, and loved me, when I couldn’t love myself. Who will be there, as they were, if we can’t put down our iPhone for five minutes? Who will be there if we remain engulfed in pessimism?
Be that person for somebody today. Embrace real, tangible change, and better the lives of others in your immediate circle. Lend a helping hand to someone whose struggling, regardless of your differences. A microcosm of hope between yourself and a neighbor could be the beginning of a different story they tell on the news.
Sean – In Recovery
You can read, comment and ask questions for Sean to address in his blog on the PAL website, home page – www.Palgroup.org