I typically begin my day perusing Facebook and lately it’s filled with stories of oppression, atrocities and scandal. I end my day with the nightly news and it’s filled with reports of abuse, corruption, war and disasters. “The lens to which your brain views the world shapes your reality.” Author Shawn Achor. The author isn’t referring to the lens of physical sight so much as the way we look at things and how we think about them but I want to back up and consider what we are actually witnessing. Even when we try and escape the harsh realities of the world around us we are bombarded with videos of pranking and bullying or the intellectual wasteland of reality TV. We are witness to incivility and hostility at every turn. Occasionally someone will post a picture of a kitten or their dinner on Facebook and I longingly recall when I used to mock such things as all social media was good for.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
People have been drawn to barbarity and conflict since the ancient times. Gladiators and crucifixions drew huge crowds. Today MMA, polarized news outlets and nasty Real Housewives programs draw huge ratings on TV. We haven’t evolved very much. I struggle with that. I’m more likely to accept that I cannot change something than I am to accept some situations are allowed in the first place. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the best we can do is know that for now, we can only hope reasonable people, decency and mutual respect will prevail. In the mean time we must invoke:
the courage to change the things I can,
Will I speak up or will I be silent when I see wrong in my world? Will I contribute to the discontent and discord around me? I wonder if it is enough to confess that gawking at events and content lacking social value is guilty pleasure. If we aspire to better options we need to support them and abandon those guilty pleasures. So many times we see free markets used to degrade our morality as if some noble justification. We have an opportunity to utilize the beauty of free markets to make our world a better place every time we click (or not) a link, change a channel, purchase a publication or sound off in a comment box.
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Author Shawn Achor also reports, 90% of your happiness is dependent on the way your brain processes the world. Other 10% is predicted by external factors such as money, wealth, success. Choosing what we see can transform our lives and if enough of us are willing to do that we could change the world. Serenity, courage and wisdom: I’ve got my work cut out for me today.
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