Most living creatures are designed to respond to fear because survival may depend upon it. But we humans make too great a habit of scaring each other and ourselves. The media are masters of manipulation. “If it bleeds it leads,” is a well-worn journalist’s expression. Nothing raises the ratings more than a good old fashion catastrophe. Politicians aren’t far behind. They’ve been known to propose trade-offs of our freedom for a bit more security.
Most of us understand that fear is a powerful master. But we needn’t yield to it. Rather than behave like lemmings, we can put a little faith in ourselves. Instead of thinking the world’s problems are too big to solve, we can counter with small acts. With 7 billion people on the planet, that should be enough power to turn the course of events. What if each of us decided that telling the truth was important, and that integrity was more valuable than money? What if we treated others the way we wanted to be treated? Wouldn’t the sum of all these small acts make a difference? We’d have a revolution without firing a single bullet and without the need to agree on religion or politics.
In life there are choices. Though I may be going against the tide, I’ve decided not to lose faith in mine. Every day, I will perform at least one act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be a big act, just a sincere one.
Today, I’m going to recommend Susan Stoner’s two historical novels, written about the rough and tumble days of Oregon in the early 1900s: “Timber Beasts”and “Land Sharks.” I’ve mentioned them before, but they deserve another shout-out.
There! Who knew it was so easy to make the world a better place?