Unfortunately, the majority of people lead a selfish existence. It’s not anyone’s’ fault particularly. Well, it could be the deft tactics of marketing and advertizing specialists. Or, it could be the pressure placed on Americans to be better, have better, feed the national engine, and give your kids more than you had. That all sounds good and is a model that has served us well for some time. However, there is a difference between happiness and contentment. I wonder what would have happened if Jefferson had changed that one word in the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps the United States would not be the most powerful nation on the planet or be the number one consumers of the world’s resources, but being all that takes a lot of energy and work.
To get off the proverbial soap box for a minute, I do have a story to tell about my high school friend’s young daughter. For the past two birthdays, she has decided not to receive any gifts. Her young mind came up with the idea that she had enough stuff and she found true gratitude. This past year she asked family and friends to make donations to a few local animal rescue organizations. You can see the link to her previous birthday at the end of this post.
Brooke has realized the joy of giving. Some people never figure it out in their lifetime. How many times do we see commercials asking for donations for whatever cause and feel genuinely moved? You know, the sad little dogs and cats with Sarah McLachlan singing in the background. Then, we figure the time, effort and money it would take to actually help. We all know the outcome. Don’t worry. I will put my name in this one as well. However, this little girl followed through.
It is good enough to know that genuine goodness can emerge from the human psyche if given the proper environment and instruction. It is evidence that negates the claims that the human race is incapable of establishing a world which honors peace, kindness, open-mindedness and love. Do I believe in pursuing Utopia? No. It would probably be quite boring. That said, a little less pain, discord, and chaos would be fine.
Life is hard, however we make it so much more so by adding selfishness and negativity to the cauldron. Think of one thing you’re grateful for today. I’m sure you can find more if you think hard enough. Be aware of the change you can be in the world. My young friend of eight years old may not have moved a mountain, but she did move me to write this piece. I hope it does something for you as well. Take care all.