I often think that we live in a world that is backwards. Compassion and empathy are often drilled out of us as children and we have to work at regaining our humanity over time. There was a time that guns were made to aid in war efforts. Now wars are begun so that manufacturers can sell guns. People are hated for who they love instead of loved for who they are.
I was talking to a friend about this years ago and his response was, “Well, I don’t know how you can expect much more out of humanity, considering that most of us come into this world upside down, naked and wet.” I would think, however, that, considering that small fact, life would get easier from there. But it does not always do so.
The thing about that statement, though, is that it reflects a large amount of cynicism that weaves its way through life. Why should we not expect better for ourselves or for anyone else? Why should we have to settle for the messed up state of affairs when we could, one person at a time, begin to make a difference?
“Oh ya, Deerhorn, but how is one person going to make a difference in the world?” It is not that I think we should all be chuck full of self-importance. But I do think that we need to acknowledge how each of us has influence on what goes on around us. We train people in how we will permit ourselves to be treated, and they accommodate that training. So if we are a complete push over, we will be pushed about in life. If we have self-respect then we tend to respect other human beings and demand that respect from others as well. There is nothing at all wrong with having healthy boundaries in our lives. And those who have a problem with that are exactly those who have benefitted from us not having any in the first place.
As we live our lives with integrity and authenticity, those around us get trained to treat us with integrity and authenticity. And they learn that when they don’t do that, there are consequences. Thus they will either adapt their behavior or they will fade into the shadows of our lives. Either way is good. They either get on the same page or they leave your life. And when they leave your life they make room for others to enter your life who are more respectful.
When we see things going on in our world that are unsettling and unjust, we cannot just throw our hands in the air and give up right away. We have to start bombarding our politicians with letters of outrage to encourage them to do the right thing. After all, they work for us. Too many people see that backwards and do not realize that we are not the employees of our governments, nor are we their minions. They are our employees. And when they get letters from their constituents they have to pay attention. Writing one letter a day for 1000 days gets their attention a lot faster and more intently than does getting 1000 signatures on a single petition.
People often refrain from getting involved because they are afraid to be seen. That is very small thinking. The world around you expects more of you than that. So stop crawling into a hole and hiding when you could allow yourself to shine and shed light on situations and circumstances. Why be a dimmed light when you could instead be a STAR!?
Think about what caused you to slip into low self-worth in the first place. It most likely began with something that ONE person said about you or to you. And look at how that affected your reality, causing you to back away from people in your life, causing you to not trust anyone, no matter who they are. That was one small and, objectively, insignificant and unfeeling thing that ONE person said.
Now, turn that around. Think about how much different your life could have been had you not paid attention to that negative person and instead integrated all the positive things that more people around you had said to and about you. How much different your life would have been! But it is definitely NOT too late to change your focus to the positive. But the reason I bring this up is to show you the profound effect that one single person can make. So why not make a positive splash in this pool we call life and see where the ripples take us?
We may come into this world upside down, naked and wet, but that only means that we are not afraid to swim. So when things seem all backwards, turn them around. Make your effort, even if it seems that nobody else is doing so. After all, integrity involves doing the right thing even if nobody else is doing so. But know that you will have some backup along the way if you stick with it. I don’t remember who said it, but the phrase stuck with me: Be Bold. Providence loves boldness!