It is impossible to create immunity from the harmful, painful, and at times devastating statements and opinions at times, but I think there is a better way to insulate ourselves and promote hope than by making sweeping statements of separation or reacting with anger and fear. Be honest, when was the last time that you effectively persuaded someone to change their values or character by simply ‘telling them something”?
We do not need lessons to teach people, we need to be models of what we hope for. You don’t have to quit your job and become a full time activist, just be truly active in your life. If you are reading FB posts that hurt your heart, commit to posting something that lifts you up. If you see a negative news story that causes you to feel fear or uncertainty; acknowledge your fear and make a decision to move past that fear. If you find yourself feeling anxious and uncertain, empower yourself with knowledge and seek out your own answers. It’s not about avoiding pain it or pretending fear doesn’t exist, it’s about finding ways to appease it.
Make a commitment to express gratitude every single day, tell someone you love them, offer help to someone in need, be thoughtful about your communication with others, be open to the possibility of hope, and make a conscious decision to express compassion in every single interaction you have. If you think of the most powerful ‘lesson’ you ever learned, think about how that came to be….chances are that it was through your own action and decisions. If I had to ‘tell’ someone just one thing, I would simply share the wise words from Gandhi’s- “Be the change you wish to see in this world.”