Sometimes it seems hard lately… hard to smile, hard to feel, hard to be.
We get so bogged down in the day-to-day chaos that we forget the simplest of truths: beauty is all around us. It always has been and always will be. It could be a kindly gesture; a child’s smile; a friend’s joy; a lyric from a song or even a single note; a flower. It is there, we just need to look for it, or maybe we need to be ready to see it, to prepare ourselves to see the beauty all around us.
Some ways that I’ve found that help me be primed to perceive beauty:
- Take a break from the News
- Feed the good wolf (see Indian proverb below)
- Meditate (Decent app called “Calm” for beginners.)
- Reminding myself everyday how blessed I am to be healthy and loved.
- Helping others.
- Forgiving someone or even myself.
- Reaching out to someone or something and expressing gratitude.
There is wonderful news all around us too, and most people simply are not aware. Some positives to reflect on:
- Access to water: Global access to safe water has increased from 58% to 91% between 1980 and today.
- Literacy: The world’s literacy rate has leaped from roughly 10% to 85% since 1800.
- Internet Access: In 1995, only 0.4% of the world’s population had internet access. Today, roughly 54% of people are online.
- #MeToo is thriving.
- IQ is on the rise: The ”Flynn Effect” states that humans appear to be gaining about 3 points of IQ per decade.
- Decline of cancer deaths: Rates are down 20% in the last two decades and steadily decreasing.
- Wealth and Poverty: 200 years ago 90% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, today it is roughly 10%.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
No matter what we are going through or how we feel someone has it much worse. Don’t let the world bring you down, lift up the world around you. If you don’t see beauty all around you, manifest it. Offer a helping hand, be kind, create something beautiful, make someone smile or laugh.
Where is all the beauty in the world? All around us.
Further reading – Steven Pinker’s book: Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress