By Joan Sotkin
There are those who say that it’s better to ignore the news. I disagree with this. Ignoring political and economic trends makes it difficult to strategize for the future.
For me, watching the news is a spiritual discipline, because I learn how to detach from what I’m seeing. I can imagine that I’m climbing up a mountain and watching the drama from a much higher point of view –
to be in the world but not of it.
to be in the world but not of it.
From that elevated point of view, it’s easier to remove “good” or “bad” from what I’m seeing. Whatever is happening is just what’s happening, and how I deal with it on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level is my choice.
Years ago, I had a big AHA. I realized, it ALL depends on how you look at it. I can see current events as filled with pain and tragedy, or I can see a rapidly changing world where people have the opportunity to learn that when anger, fear, and selfishness are replaced with love, acceptance, and a social consciousness, everyone benefits.
From everything I have read, it appears that humans around the world are going to feel the effects of climate change, food and water shortages, widening income gaps, pollution, political unrest, and much more. Buying into the fear that these situations engender doesn’t solve any of the problems and only makes life more uncomfortable.
So what can be done on an individual basis to cope with world events? Here are four suggestions:
1. Try to fully understand what it means to love thy neighbor. From that point of view high on the mountain, it is possible to see that we are all part of one being. I see us all as cells in the body of the planet Earth. And just as there are different types of cells in the physical body, each with a different function, when they all work together there is health and harmony.
One type of cell is not better than the other. My liver cells most likely don’t feel superior to my stomach cells and, if they were capable of having an emotion, would probably be grateful for the cells whose job it is to clean up the debris in the system. There are no good or bad cells, only cells doing what is natural for them.
2. Stop focusing on money. Somewhere along the line, people started measuring their lives in terms of their net worth and how much they own. Wealth became the goal. As a result, greed has replaced a lot of our social values and certainly doesn’t contribute to the health of society – it only serves to further alienate the haves from the have-nots and foster separation and dissatisfaction.
Focus instead on how you can contribute to the health of society via your thoughts and actions — and your business or career. Open your heart to others and find ways to interact that are beneficial to everyone involved. When you do this, you’ll find effective ways of comfortably supporting yourself.
3. Take care of yourself, so you can be a healthy cell in the body of the planet. Most physical and emotional diseases can be prevented or reversed via healthy lifestyle choices such as eating fresh, whole foods and exercising daily. Are your choices supporting health or disease?
4. Take action. Call your government representatives, participate in demonstrations, comment on blogs, post important stories you read on Facebook and Twitter, write Letters to the Editor for you local paper, call talk shows, and connect to others who share your views. Make sure that your actions — and purchases — are congruent with your personal values.