10 Word Review – Ebertfest: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Kindness. Human. Love. Respect. Empathy. Caring. Validating. Joy. Depth. Yes.

A Drop Becomes a Ripple Becoming a Wave

Life is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful (Photo credit: Tj Parker Photography)

I was commenting on a friend’s Facebook post today, trying to put across the message that we need a little more positivity in the world and how positivity catches hold, just like negativity, if we let it.

So, here’s the deal. (Yes, I’m on the soap box again.)  I don’t post negative stuff on Facebook, or this blog for that matter. It’s a conscious choice. I decided that what I put out into the world will try to be positive and beautiful and kind. Not to say I’m not aware of the myriad of things about this country, the world, the way things are politically and spiritually and environmentally, etc., etc., etc., and on, and on, and on, that could be changed. Or frankly, need to be changed. I know there are issues. I know there are things that are wrong. I know we all have varying ideas about what those things are. I’m aware. I just choose, being the person I am on the this planet, to only put out positive energy. At least, that’s what I strive to do.

Here’s why. There’s enough bullshit out there already. There’s enough opinion and doomsday predictions and nasty words and accusations and scare tactics and bullying behavior and finger-pointing and hurtfulness to fill pages and pages for years and years. Frankly, it doesn’t really solve anything, or do us any good. It’s divisive and has about as much impact as spitting in the wind.

I believe in what comes around goes around, do unto others, being kind to our fellow humans and the planet, what you put out you get back 10 fold, I believe in being the change I wish to see in the world. And the change I wish to see in the world is that we all become kinder, gentler, less judging, more helpful, less greedy, not as self-centered, nicer versions of ourselves. We can choose to look at all that’s wrong, pointing fingers and shouting doomsday predictions, or we can look at what’s right, and build on that. We can try for understanding and compassion instead of accusations and tearing people down. Ideas, even if they aren’t yours or mine, are all valid.   None of us have all the answers. Which brings me to the thought that a little less arrogance would also be in order. Thinking we have all the answers is the first step to not getting any worthwhile answers at all. And believing we know, without a doubt, what’s best for our neighbors, our towns, our country, or the world, is crazy thinking.  Just sayin’.  No one knows everything, and the moment we start to think we do, we’ve cut off our nose to spite our face. We can only try our best, try to evolve with our problems, and try to respect each other. We all, whoever we are, deserve at least some modicum of respect. As human beings with feelings if nothing else.

So, I know there’s a lot going on in the world.  I know some of it isn’t good.  I know some of it needs to be changed.  But, I also know that there’s beauty and light and love and kindness and compassion and gentleness and giving and loving and respecting and grace out there.  People are, generally, good.  Most of us want the same things in life.  Most of us want not only ourselves but our fellow humans to be well, to be happy, to be fulfilled and to have joy.  Most of us are good people doing the best we can to get by, to have a life, to make a better future for our children and grandchildren.  We are more alike than we aren’t.

Like I used to tell the kids I worked with, “use your powers (and there are many) for good, not evil”.  You have a choice.  I choose to try to emphasize the love and beauty and light and joy in the world.  Not to say my way is better than any other way, but it’s my way, and this is my blog.  This is the best way for me.  It helps to remind me, every day, that there are good people out there and good things happening.  It helps me remember that we are more the same than different and that there’s so much creativity and goodness in the world.  If I seek out the positive, I find it.

I think of it like this… a drop of light creates a ripple of kindness, which leads to waves of joy and compassion and understanding that flow out well beyond where that one drop started.  Just think what would happen if we all got together and tried compassion and understanding and joy for change.  Think of what could happen.  Think of the huge wonderful waves that shared energy would create.  Think of how beautiful that would be.


I See Beauty

I have a high aesthetic.  Meaning that I have an extreme sense of the beautiful.  I don’t want to say that I can judge for others what is beautiful, but for myself I see beauty everywhere.  I used to say I saw photographs in everything, which is true since that’s my medium, but really it’s more than that.  My view of the world is filtered through my sense of beauty.  And before all my friends and family start thinking to themselves about whether or not I’m judging how they look… that’s not it at all, and no, I’m not looking at you that way.  Other than, I suppose, to see your inner beauty, which I do, but that’s a topic for another day.  I’m talking about the world… people don’t factor in unless it’s a mass of them in a space and that particular scene is beautiful to me.  Or a couple holding hands walking through the park.  Beautiful.  But again, I’m talking about space, architecture, nature, form, light, design, intention.  I mean grace of movement, melody, warmth, a point of view.

Is this making sense?

I’ve never attempted to articulate this before, but yesterday I was looking at our living room.  Simple.  We both appreciate art, in many forms, and it’s evident in our space.  The furniture is even sort of funky, which is part of it.  We are eclectic, because we always get something because we love it, not because it’s what we should have to go with whatever else we have.  We figure if we love something it will fit into the whole of what our place is.  The vibe.  We also believe in not having too much “stuff” so we try to keep things non-cluttered.  It’s a balance of taste and style and funk and having our space feel a certain way.  So I was looking at it and found myself thinking and feeling that a certain aesthetic sense fills it.  It fills me.  Anytime we go anywhere I see photographs.  Not the usual panorama, though sometimes that’s so, but usually a part of something, the form of something, the way the light hits a particular thing.  I notice.  And I’m glad I do.  It’s what happened yesterday as a certain winter light shone in through our living room window and hit part of a lamp.  That’s all.  Just a little light filtering in and hitting a part of lamp.  It was stunningly beautiful.

I never get too busy to notice, never too rushed to notice, because even when I am busy or rushed I still notice as my eyes pass something.  It’s wonderful.  At least I feel as though it’s wonderful.  I feel lucky to have this thing inside that naturally lets me see the larger, deeper, subtler things in life.  The way a leaf blows across the street, the barking of a distant dog that sounds happy, the passing shapes in clouds, the shadows made by the rising of the sun.  I sometimes feel these things so much I cry.  Cry from a place of joy for having seen something so stunning.  It used to embarrass me, but it no longer does.  I feel privileged, and I wish more people stopped quietly and said to themselves…wow… that is beautiful.  Whatever that may be.  I think the world would be a better and more joyous place.  How could it not be.  It brings connection with things, connection with the larger world, makes a person feel small and a part of something bigger all at the same time.  It brings a sense of peace, that things are as they should be for a moment, these brief snippets of time.  It’s freeing in a way.

I feel fortunate, lucky, privileged, to see the world through these eyes… these eyes that see beauty in the smallest things all around me.   And my hope is that you see it too…