By Jamie Neben
One of my primary desires in life, and the underlying reason why I co-founded Waves of Gray with A.C. Smith, is to make the world a better place. As an idealist who believes that change is possible, I strive to spread positive energy in any possible capacity, whether it’s by way of a private exchange, or through mass communication such as a website article or radio interview. Of course, I am hardly alone in that endeavor, and I’m sure we could all name several noteworthy individuals who have contributed untold resources to the cause of improving the lives of other people. But along with the recognition and gratitude, I have to wonder about the degree of resistance each person experiences while seeking to make a difference.
The reason I mention it is because my good vibrations are often met with cynicism, if not outright contempt. Those who will even admit that my mission is laudable are prone to ask me why I bother. I’ve been told that peace is not achievable on a community scale, let alone a global one. From their perspective, the mere thought that I might make a sizable impact is compared to living in a fool’s paradise. Some who are less enthusiastic demand to know why they should be nice to others when nobody treats them in kind. Then you have those who take satisfaction from misfortune.
For the record, I don’t believe for a minute that we can magically transform our world into a land of rainbows and kitty cats. I know that evil is interwoven into the fabric of human nature. We are capable of many shameful feelings and behaviors. With so much unpleasantness in the air, it’s no wonder most of us find ourselves in a terrible mood now and then. Despite all the madness, I will never give up hope.
There can be peace and love.
Changing the world starts with one person at a time. Every one of us has the power to influence another in ways great and small. We probably don’t realize the impact of our actions. A quick smile toward a stranger might brighten their entire day while a casual conversation between acquaintances may unexpectedly offer profound enlightenment. Making the effort to be courteous, to show manners, and to care for the well being of others is not only the right thing to do, but could be contagious too. If misery loves company, so does happiness. We need to treat each personal encounter as an opportunity to make someone’s life better. Hopefully, our good thoughts and deeds create a ripple effect as they move from person to person.
I totally get how this might sound like a bunch of happy horse manure. But what’s the problem with wishing for peace, or wanting things in society to work out for the best? Please explain to me what the pleasure is in degrading somebody, possibly someone you don’t even know, because their race, religion, lifestyle, or political position is different than yours? What’s the problem in observing the Golden Rule? What happened to the notion that being good is its own reward?
Our positive energy does not diminish the more we use it. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by showing love and kindness to each other. We can choose to make the world a better place.
Let’s do it, shall we?