I like to watch the news while I work out in the mornings. Working out pumps me up. I feel exuberant afterwards. But this last week, I hurt my knee and I haven't seen the sun for days and with the latest news stories, I found myself in the dumps. I watched story after story unfold, marijuana being sold in stores in Colorado and long lines formed out the doors, people waiting in the winter cold to purchase it legally. I looked at the faces of the people buying it, they were regular folks, young and old and everything in between. I couldn't believe it. Then the next segment, a pop star in court twice this week for different incidents. One of them involved with drag racing and being high on marijuana and prescription drugs and alcohol. Oh yes, drugs are such a good idea, let's legalize more... they make our world so much better! Rounding off the morning segment is a couple who killed his ex-girlfriend, leaving two small children without a mom. What a great world we live in!
I sunk in deeper to the gloom, feeling helpless to change it. The world is spiraling out of control because of people's choices. Really it all comes down to that. And if I could get every person to understand one thing it would be this... Yes you are free to make any choice you want, but your choices will affect more than just you. We are all connected.
I share exhibit A. When I was in this frustrated with the world mode, I was transferring how I felt to those around me unknowingly until my daughter voiced how she was feeling, "I just feel agitated and I don't know why." And then I did a self check... oh yeah, that's me. My frustration spread like a virus, infecting everyone I came in contact with.
Then I watched a link on facebook, where these two guys decided to perform random acts of kindness and videoed what happened. It was awesome. They paid for the lunch of the car behind them and the guy hears his meal is paid for by the car in front of him and a smile spreads across his face and he flips a thumbs up to those guys. Then the same two guys leave $500 for a cleaning lady at a hotel. This girl was having a hard time and when she pulls back the covers and sees the $500 in $20 bill increments, her hand goes to her mouth in incredulity, tears come to her eyes. She can't believe it. I feel tears start to come to my eyes and I feel goodness return. I feel it again later that night when my small son comes to my room with a leg ache. I rub his leg to try to make it better as he whimpers. I then go to get medicine. I watch as he still moans in pain and then I see him on his own, crawl out from under the covers and kneel to say a prayer. Goodness envelopes my heart.
Though the world may be gray and gloomy, though not everyone has figured out yet that their choices matter and affect others, goodness is still here and if we want to find it... we will have to hang around really good people all the time or become it ourselves. I realized if I wanted to change the world... I needed to start with changing me. If I wanted to see goodness, I needed to create it.
Yesterday it began as I took the time to sit and read with my child, then later smiled at a stranger in the store, then wished someone well that was sick and sent up prayers for them and others in need. Today is another day to look around and plant some good seeds and I can't help but notice the dark clouds that loomed around for days and held me prisoner have given way to the sun. It is shining bright and I can't help but think that something good is growing.