Yesterday was my birthday. The week leading up to it was full of chaos and turmoil caused by one of those people who have no empathy or conscience and walk around making life difficult for everyone. In the past, I would have tried to convince this person how wrong it was to do the things she was doing to others. I’m older and wiser now. These folks just don’t care, and they will bend the very shape of reality to avoid admitting they were wrong or made a mistake. Now, I pick my battles and try to keep all that toxicity away from myself. I did everything I could to help the victims and then moved on.
In this past year, I have noticed a growing sense of hostility and aggression out in the world around us—in politics, in traffic, in most places I look. The only way I know to truly combat it is to try to counter it with loving, peaceful acts and thoughts. But when so many around us are acting out, it’s hard to keep thinking and acting in a positive manner.
One technique that helps me is to focus on gratitude and the many blessings I’ve received. The angry people I know have received multitudes of blessings, but somehow they remain oblivious to them and filled with resentment and rage. Every day, I make a conscious choice not to be like them. Sometimes all I can do to follow through on that choice is to avoid taking out my irritation on everyone around me. Other days, I can contribute some peace and joy to the atmosphere around me.
This year, all of my three children are living in their hometown with me for the first time in fifteen years. That’s a huge blessing. I have well-received novels that are selling well. This is a dream come true. I am making a living (of sorts) by making up stories and writing them down. That’s another great blessing. The year began with health scares for me and included more for two of my children, all of which came to nothing—another blessing of major magnitude. And the list goes on and on.
I believe that, if those cutting off people in traffic or committing hostile or underhanded acts against others in the workplace or attacking others viciously on the internet would take a moment to look at their lives, they, too, would find reasons for gratitude. As my grandmother used to say, “Any day I can suck in breath and stand up on my own feet gives me reason right there to be thankful.” It’s when we live blind to the miracles of our daily lives that we turn sour and mean.
So I’m beginning this new personal year with gratitude and recognition of the blessings that surround me, and I hope to continue in that vein for the entire year. One thing I truly appreciate is this blog—the wonderful women who are part of it with me and the great people who visit it and connect with us.
What about you? Have you noticed the rise in uncivil behavior lately? How do you deal with it? What are the things you’re grateful for? What are your blessings and little and big miracles?
NOTE: Something I’m not happy about is my inability to comment on this blog or reply to others’ comments right now. I’m trying to get answers to this problem from Blogger, but until then, please note that, if you leave a comment, I will respond to it on The Stiletto Gang Facebook page, which does recognize my existence—at least at this moment.