There is no lack of problems in this world or wrongs that need addressing. It's hard not to get caught up in the constant stream of misery. As a person, I feel compelled to act on most issues, to either say something or empower those who need help. With all of these problems, there can sometimes be a malaise that sets in or even a sense of apathy. It's important to keep in mind two things when dealing with these feelings.
The first is to understand your capacity and resources that you have available to help. The second is to remain positive at all times. This world claims casualties every day most by no cause of their own. There is no reason to make yourself a casualty by hardening your heart to the pain you witness. When taking for example the unequal treatment of minorities in this country coupled with the demonization of cultures and circumstance, it's enough to drive the most hardened man or woman to tears. What we must remember is to remain positive even in the face of the most daunting odds.
There are lots of reasons for staying positive. Perhaps it’s best for us to understand a little about what happens to our brain and our hearts when we go negative, or we lose our positivity and our understanding that things “will” get better over time as we apply our attention to them. First off when you start to think negatively you trigger your mind into a scarcity mindset i.e. “there’s only so much to go around” or “we have to get ours fast before someone gets theirs” or “we have to protect what someday we might have”. When we open our minds to think this way we limit our options in dealing with issues and being creative in how we solve them, in effect it triggers a fight or flight reflex.
Think for a moment how seductive the feeling is to be upset about something, to be truly enraged. This enraged feeling normally moves people to action but generally not the long lasting, stamina requiring action needed to solve societal issues affecting all of us. It reminds me of something I heard Nelson Mandela say, “why should we hurry and be willing to except short term solutions and quick fixes when instead we can take our time and come up with the proper solution and permanent change”. To get these solutions that can have positive implications for generations to come we must not think short term. Some of the most important issues that have been engaged in our lifetime may not be fully solved in our lifetime. That is to say that we will not be the recipients of the full positive change but that’s ok! Living a virtues life and working for the betterment of mankind is not a quick fix. Having this realization has been paramount to understanding my capacity and making best use of my resources.
Every day we have to take a breath and enjoy the pleasures of life. Resist the urge to go negative or loose hope because sometimes things move slower that we want them to. We must remain hopeful so we can invasion the change we want to see, the love we need to see.