I started writing this post before the Orlando massacre and felt compelled to finish it now.
The other night, I went out to an intimate club to see my friend perform along with other talented female singer-songwriters. I hadn’t been out to see live music for many years. I bravely decided to rock up alone as most of my friends were either sick or couldn’t get a babysitter.
I enjoyed all the performances. There was so much talent packed into such a small space. There were a couple of particularly moving songs about the abuse of children by the Catholic Church in Ballarat. These we dark and sad songs that were poignant and relevant to what has happened in our town.
One performer I particularly liked spoke about how she doesn’t want her daughter to have children because of the terrible state of the world. She then sang a beautiful song of hope. When she finished, she started an aggressive rant against the Liberal Party.
Later, I spoke with her and told her how much I enjoyed her music. Suddenly, she started on about the Liberal Party again. She was so full of hate and anger, it was shocking. She told me to not hangout with anyone that voted Liberal.
I didn’t tell her my husband actually ran for pre-selection for the Liberal Party and was quite involved with the Party. My husband and I do not agree politically. I am happy to live in a democracy and even be married to someone who votes differently to me.
The thing that struck me the most was how vehement this woman was. Her world view was so negative and angry that she didn’t even want grandchildren.
I can’t deny that bad stuff happens. Just look at the terrible tragedy of the Orlando shootings at a nightclub. More than 50 lives lost and just as many injured, along with the ripple effect on friends, families, colleagues as well as the emergency services personnel is huge. And the terrible abuse that has happened in my town of Ballarat has been heartbreaking across the community.
And yet, I live in hope. My world view is positive. I believe in the innate goodness of most people. I see acts of kindness every day. Because I expect to see the goodness in others and the world around me, this is what I do see.
If you were looking to buy a new car and your top choice was a Ford in red, you’d suddenly notice so many red Fords on the road. This is the power of attention and focus. What you focus on is what you see. Be mindful of where you put your attention. It requires daily mindfulness to refocus on the good instead of the negative, but the more you do it, the more you re-program you subconscious to look for the good.
This doesn’t mean you won't experience the bad. When I am sad, I feel it. Fully and completely. Acknowledging the emotion and giving my full attention, allows the feeling to be processed (often quite quickly) rather than stuffing it down into my psyche where it will play out later.
I feel as much pain and suffering as others, perhaps, but I see the world as a beautiful and loving place. They say that, “An optimist is as often wrong as a pessimist, but far happier.” I’m happy to be an optimist and to be wrong sometimes.
Even with tragedies like the shootings of so many beautiful people in Orlando, the situation shows the love and support offered by those around the world. Yes, there will probably always be crazy people that do unimaginable things, unfortunately, And while we cannot control what happens in the world, we have the power to choose how we respond. Do we respond with hate and anger, or do we respond with love and compassion?
What’s your world view like? Do you feel the world is a safe place most of the time? You may not agree with me, but I'm curious about what you think and feel...
With love and hugs,