Us Against, or Beside the World?

Have you ever really thought about what you’re thinking? Have you ever thought that maybe the problems you think you have are irrelevant? We think all the time, but are we really thinking about things that are important? You can make changes in the world by making a simple alteration to your daily life. It may sound crazy, but taking a moment to care for yourself will start a chain reaction toward a better life. Like the butterfly effect explains, even the smallest change in conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable factors effecting the future state of the system. Now imagine taking time, a few moments even, to reflect on what is around you, what you’re doing, or what you can do to change what’s around you. Maybe consider the things you do that could potentially be harmful, or not have the best impact on other people. Making yourself aware of the issues that tie into this world can provide positive outcomes when you take steps toward bettering yourself. When you begin to learn, and understand that there are people on the other side of the world living and working in what would be considered extremely unacceptable conditions here, a sense on compassion and empathy will build. So take the time to read about what/ who you’re buying from, look into more sustainable living, start recycling. There are simple things in this world that can be changed by people educating themselves on more than social media, money, and their next desires. It is important to know that the life we live now won’t matter to future generations when the world is in debt, piled with waste, and at constant war during their time. We have to work together in order to clean the earth, so that we can get people back into the living and working conditions they belong. At this point, it’s as if we’re all running the same race but on different trails. The world moves so quickly these days, and it is way too easy to be caught up on which turn you should take next in order to cross the finish line. With this, allowing yourself time to regulate breathing and focusing on yourself, or what you can do with yourself in order to make change, creates a sense of awareness that you can carry with you throughout your day(s). In my learning to practice mindfulness, I have allowed myself to feel for others that aren’t as fortunate as myself. Practice being mindful; you can find yourself sleeping better, thinking more positively, and living a better life. As for myself, I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot fix everyone’s problems, but I can do everything in my power to change the way I live in order to change the way others live. One way to do this is to support sustainable clothing brands, recycle plastics, and communicate the importance of these practices to the people around me. Your actions alter others reactions, which can alter the people in their lives reactions, and so on. Practicing mindfulness creates awareness, allows a sense of calmness to creep in, and most importantly, let’s your body react to the what’s important now instead of the what’s going to be popular tomorrow. The point is, if a butterfly can create a typhoon, you can make a difference by altering the smallest of lifestyle choices you make.

To further conversation on the livelihood of people in this world, I find it empowering when someone who has a bigger platform expresses the changes they’ve made in their lives that have positively changed others lives. To see someone who has much influence on younger generations talk about sustainability and earth saving practices in order to teach them how they too can make a difference is so humbling. Something about seeing someone with ‘power’ provide important information for our youth makes us realize that maybe as adults, we should be the ones teaching these simple life choices.

When a problem arises in the world, what some might consider “simple solutions” may come to mind. The issue with most “simple solutions” is that they don’t completely fix the problem. With as much diversity in the world as there is, there is hardly ever one solution that could fix the same problem on opposite sides of the globe. The majority people of today’s society are selfish, greedy, and have extremely high expectations for their lives in this world. As someone who is middle class, it seems easy to be humble because we don’t think we need to spend money on those shoes, or that phone that just came out, but somewhere out there, someone else is saying that they don’t need that food because their kids deserve it. Developing humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems may have become a wicked problem in itself. Maybe things can change, but at this point and time, it’s likely going to be extremely difficult to take things away, or even slow things down in the world to allow time for reconstructing systems without causing some sort of war. As we preach mindfulness and self educating ourselves, we also need to spread it. Compassionate curiosity is one key aspect that is helpful when determining a fix for these wicked problems of the world, as well as engaging in joint problem solving. So, we take what we know, and act; or we’ll reap what we sow to realize that we need change. In my journey toward humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems, I have found that I too, am guilty to falling into the ways of this world. Throwing away everything you don’t need is easy once it’s left your sight. In the long run, it will effect me, but right now, it’s effecting someone else .I have come to realize that it is way too easy to be selfish. However, mindful practices have led me to conclude that  it is way more rewarding, and will be even more rewarding later on to live a humble, compassionate, and mindful lifestyle. Meditation has allowed me time to focus on myself, but not in a way that would only benefit me. What I fuel my mind with, my heart will drive with it, as will yours. 

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