I recently had an opportunity to talk to 25 college seniors. I asked them: “With a show of hands, how many of you are feeling hopeful or positive about the world today?” Not surprisingly, not a single student’s hand was raised as they looked around amidst the awkward silence. “So, let me ask you”, I continued,
“what is it that you would find hopeful and what would you be willing to do to create that?”
I must admit I’ve been asking myself that question a lot during these last few months, especially post-election and inauguration, struggling to find the hope in today’s troubled environment. One might be tempted to hide under the covers or to run away to live in a peaceful place. Although it may feel comforting, we might ask, “Is that what we came here to experience in these precious bodies?” Life is short. What are we waiting for? We can choose to create a more caring, compassionate world right now.
In this dance of life, we have an opportunity to engage in a new way with our fellow earth dwellers. We can choose to love or to hate, to include or to exclude, to share or to hoard, to cooperatively build a better world or to destroy what we have. We can choose to hope or to live in despair and fear.
The best way we can help others—and ourselves—is by choosing HOPE.
We may need to look deeper for reasons to be happy, hopeful and grateful, but it’s from that place that we can inspire others.
Let’s open our eyes, minds and hearts to those who are right in front of us—who may look, speak or act differently than us—for they are our current dance partners, whether for a moment, a day or a lifetime.
Start by offering a little kindness, a gesture that says, “I see you, I witness what you are experiencing right now. I care.” Oftentimes, it’s the little things that touch us in ways that matter. Letting someone get ahead of you in a traffic line with a friendly wave, taking pictures for strangers, holding a door open with a smile, or buying an extra rose at the farmer’s market is so simple, so easy. Sometimes just witnessing the kind acts of others can make us feel more positive about the world.
It’s not only uplifting, it’s contagious, creating a ripple effect of kindness. When in doubt about what to do: Just be kind!
We can even take it up a notch by truly listening to all viewpoints, by acknowledging others in a way that makes then not only feel seen and heard, but valued and appreciated. How can we extend our hands and invite others to participate in this dance of life . . . connecting and expanding until there is no one left out?
I am reminded of a quote by Buddha:
“What you think, you become
What you feel, you attract
What you imagine, you create.”
Let’s choose to create a new world vision of kindness, hope, love and peace.
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Her award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Linda believes that in order to inspire a kinder world the place to start is with children. She recently volunteered at a Title One elementary school, working with over 500 students, to create and facilitate “Kindness Starts With Me,” the results of which include a website (www.kindnessstartswithme.com) and a book for children. Also visit www.loveisthenewcurrency.com for more information and/or to sign up for an uplifting monthly newsletter.