It’s an interesting world we live in right now. Following the news can make you feel as though society is regressing rather than progressing. Lies become common place and acceptable from our leaders, paranoia about newcomers to the country heightens, nature seems to be telling us something as our weather patterns vary significantly from the past. It’s easy to get caught in an isolationist mentality where we want to hunker down and protect the life we’ve built. Fear seems to be running the day and the news feeds that fear as “doom and gloom” thinking seems to sell.
There is a cure for this new brand of repressionist thinking though. Education helps to some extent but education is always in context of the life a person leads. That is to say that as much as teachers can challenge closed minded thinking and open up the world to students, at the end of the day, most people see the realities of the world in their direct sight line. When people are fed by a fear-mongering media, they see fear. When you look for negative, you find negative. It does exist. But here’s the thing, if you look for the good, there is an abundance of good to be found. One of my favorite influencers has a wonderful quote on that. Fred Rodgers, the gentle host of Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood says: When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
What a refreshing way to look at things. It’s true that there are scary things in the world, watch the nightly news. But look carefully through different lenses – look for the huge outpouring of support when horrible things happen. The Humboldt bus crash was horrible but people quickly set up a GoFundMe page to support the families of those killed. The shooting on the Danforth in Toronto was horrific but the community rallied and prayed intensely for the victims of the senseless act. Refugees pour over the border from the USA to Canada in desperate condition but they are received by border guards who do not treat them as criminals but rather welcome them to their new home. Through the proper lens, the world has some pretty wonderful things going for it, the people who inhabit it.
So yes, the world is an interesting place but whether we are regressing or progressing depends on the lens we look through. As you speak with your friends and families about the happenings of the world, make sure you focus on those who help. When looking at war torn countries, look for the role of the Red Cross. When looking at the homeless, look at those volunteers who work tirelessly in supporting the community. When looking at the horrible conditions of our oceans, look at those scientists who are finding so many ways to help clean them up. Look at humanity through the lens of the good we can do. Not only will it help you sleep better, maybe you’ll be the positive for someone else.
Keep on learning!