Friday, December 21, 2012

The end of the world as we know it........

I'll wait while you get that song stuck in your head. Good? Ok.

I think what the Mayans were trying to say is that today is the end of the world as we know it. That from today forward, we should embrace a whole new world (now get THAT song stuck in your head!). But seriously, maybe instead of focusing on doomsday now we can focus on moving forward with a renewed sense of what's important in the world. Leave behind anger, violence, hate, bullying, oppression, injustice, pain and suffering. And embrace kindness, inclusiveness, peace, love, fairness and joy.

Now, before you start waving your peace signs and singing "Kumbaya," let me explain. It only takes a second to change your thinking or your actions. Instead of rushing to anger when someone cuts you off on the freeway, or snapping back with a snarky comment when someone insults you, try taking a second to ask yourself if it's really worth it? I think the events over the past year have shown us that, in the bigger scheme of things, very little matters beyond keeping those close to you safe and wrapped in love. Being unkind or angry takes a ton of time and energy - effort that could move mountains if put to good use.

Sure, we all lose it from time to time. I can count at least two times in the past week I've lost it - screamed when I should have talked, blamed when I should have left it alone, berated when I should have lifted up. We're human and we're not infallible. But it's amazing what happens when you just stop for a second and say " can I change this?" I, myself, committed to doing acts of kindness. Not just "26 Acts of Kindness" for the Newtown victims, but small kindnesses that I can do every day. I fed a homeless man. I bought my co-worker a cookie. I let a frazzled lady cut in front of me in line at the post office. Because, really, these things were small fry compared to the bigger picture. And it only took me a second and little effort to do them, but perhaps they made another person smile or feel special or just relieved a bit of their daily stress.

We have a lot of "No Hate" against bullying, food drives, inclusion programs in our schools, etc. going on in our world. But it doesn't take a huge effort, or even an organized one, to make a difference. We can start by modeling kindness to our kids. And not letting them think they are entitled to everything under the sun. Nothing fixes your perspective like getting outside of yourself and helping someone else - or just seeing that other people have troubles too.

So maybe this IS the end of the world - of all the craziness and insanity that our world has become. The ONLY way to change that is to change your ways. Change your perspective and change the way you react to things. Think before you act out in emotion. Don't think before you do something kind. Just do it.

I'm grateful to be alive today. To wake up in my house, to have food to eat, to have too many Christmas presents to wrap. All good things. But it's not just today. I'm grateful for that every day.

It's the end of the world as we know it............and I feel fine!

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