So it happens. I click on the news channel and hear headlines like:
Somewhere there was a mass shooting; a police officer killed someone; someone killed a police officer; a politician did something unfavorable; people were killed in a terrorist attack . . .
What? That’s a depressing start to the day. The problem is this is nearly every day. How on earth am I supposed to keep up on all of these happenings without feeling hopeless and depressed? I’d love to say it’s as easy as stop watching the news. HA! Doesn’t work. I still see it. I read the headlines in my news app. Plus, I can’t exactly operate with a paper bag over my head, can I. So what can I do? A bit of perspective is what it takes to remind me of all the good in this world.
Last summer while pregnant with my second child, I read a lot. I mean, a lot. I didn’t sleep much when pregnant, so from about 2-4:00 every morning I would lay in bed and read. I decided this would be the perfect time to check one goal off my list and read the Bible cover to cover. So I did. And, my biggest takeaway from reading it? Humanity has always been messed up. People are broken.
When I hear people say “this world is going to hell in a hand basket,” I can’t help but think, no, we’ve been on that same journey all along. This world has been broken since the fall of man. Since our ancestors chose the knowledge of good and evil, this is what we got. An imperfect balance of good and evil in this world we live in. Now, how can I know this and not feel hopeless? What can I do?
I look around and wonder how can little bitty me make any difference in this crazy, messed up world? What is within my control? It’s not the suicide bomber overseas, not the mass shooter, not the corrupt politicians, not the drive by shootings. It starts with me. It starts by asking one simple question.
“How can I make one person’s day better today?”
I have a great power within me, we all do, and that is to love. The human capacity to love is unmatched by any other creature on this earth. I can extend love to myself, forgive myself for my brokenness, let go of my shortcomings, recognize the great power within me and share it, one person at a time. I’ll extend love to my spouse, our children, family, neighbors, friends, fellow drivers on the road, patrons waiting in line at the store.
In seemingly meaningless encounters, I will remember to smile, to give hope. It could be as simple as smiling while holding the door open at the post office. That one person I smile at in line could be on their way to do something terrible, and maybe that smile reminds them to see the good in this broken world. I can volunteer in my local community to be a positive presence for those in need and hurting. Through this example, I can teach my children to be loving, decent human beings, agents of change to spread love and hope.
So today, I choose to smile at a neighbor, give a hug to a friend. Share words of encouragement to someone who is down. I will choose to see the good and give heartfelt thanks for every bit. Though this world’s people are broken, it is full of wonder and I marvel at the sights. With the encouragement of the simple act of a caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful butterfly, I believe we can transform the brokenhearted with acts of love, no matter how small.
For what is most broken in this world is people who feel unloved and alone. So I will hug my family, and I will pray on my knees for all the brokenhearted. I will pray they experience love. And I will spread love wherever I can by giving thanks for the amazing love that saved me.
“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.” -Princess Diana
I’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments of how you keep up with current events without feeling hopeless and depressed.
This post is dedicated to my friend, Teresa, who sent me the idea. If you have an idea for a future post, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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