We’re living in such crazy times, so many of us are struggling, living day to day, some are barely hanging on, others are just walking through life existing but not truly living. It seems like every time I turn around, someone has gone off the deep end, purchased some guns and gone on a murdering spree. I won’t even waste my time nor energy on the idiot in the white house, smh.
But I digress. My point is, anyone who has paid the slightest attention to Western society over the last century in particular, will undoubtedly come to the same conclusion as I: society has been degenerating at an ever accelerating pace and sad to say, every form of ideological animosity has become more dangerous. . Some folks call it an “exponential curve” I believe. Trillions of dollars are spent each year on militarization, security, crime and conflict, among other things, and the cost is rising. Yet, for Black, Brown, working class folks, and the LGBTQ community, money spent does not equate to more affordable housing, more resources, more employment opportunities, cleaner streets, access to medical benefits, equitable education and healthy food options. For the communities I mentioned, progress is slow and in some cases halted.
What I do know is that the solution begins with us. Each of us as individuals and collectively have the power within us to make changes on a local level, if we would only tap into that power source and come together as a community, as we did 60, 70 years ago. If we can’t bother to put the time in and expend the amount of energy it will take to make the necessary changes, then we shouldn’t bother complaining or even showing up to vote because we have already failed.
Of course, once things have failed, that is generally when we look at ourselves, our communities, our families and our children, and we wonder what we’ve become and where we went wrong.
What we have to do is acknowledge the fact that there’s more than enough blame to go around! We all play a part in the demise of our society. I mean ALL OF US: You and Me. As educators, parents, community members, it means if we want our schools safer, let’s work on keeping our communities safe. If we want our neighborhoods free of violence and crime, we need to be crime free and teach our children the same!
If we want our children to love and respect others, we should love and respect them inside our home, at the dinner table, on the phone, in conversation with friends and when we’re happy, mad, tired or stressed. We need to set the example, in other words, we need to be the change we want to see! What can we, as adults, tell these kids to help them maintain perspective, to help them remain motivated and reasonably positive about the world and the future?
It means if we want change as a nation, we have to change as a “Community!”
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that when it comes to life, things rarely seem to happen in a well-timed, spaced-out fashion; they usually happen all at once. Professional stress and personal problems often collide, making you feel unsteady, overwhelmed and alone. Initial inclinations are usually our worst instincts, like skipping exercise and eating and drinking food that drains our energy. If you feel like life is spiraling out of control, take a deep breath, and follow these five steps that will help you maintain your sanity and take care of yourself:
1. Have a positive attitude
2. Practice Gratitude
3. Get enough sleep
4. Remember to laugh
5. Take time to reflect and let go
Now I understand that these five tips sound incredibly basic, but there is tremendous power when you train your mind to have a positive focus. It is truly a daily challenge, but the goal is to maintain a healthy mindset and outlook during those times when staying positive seems like nothing more than wishful thinking.