I am just wondering if a shift of focus might help.
Practice makes perfect, so the more you repeat an action or even a thought, the more likely is that action or thought to become consolidated. After all, wherever we direct our attention, there our physical and mental resources flow. Everybody knows that.
Or do we?
It occurs to me that we spend a lot of our time and energy fighting against things we don’t want. Perhaps more than necessary. Perhaps more than building, nurturing, creating the things we want. So much of our focus and energy goes on being anti what we hate or dread that I question how much energy we have left on focusing on being pro what we actually want. Do we have sufficient time and energy to focus on both with equal effectiveness? It’s a question that has been buzzing in my head for some time now. Speaking for myself, I certainly do not.
Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I get the impression there are more marches and demonstrations against unwanted situations and wrongdoings than in favour of desired or just ones. Of course, when something blatantly wrong happens, I feel that peacefully voicing your disagreement or sense of outrage is the right thing to do. But once this opinion is expressed, shouldn’t the next step be to focus all our strength on building what we actually want?
When I was a small child, my mother had a UNICEF desk calendar with a quotation for every month. One stuck in my mind, even though at the time I couldn’t understand what it meant. “Problems, like babies, grow bigger with nursing.” I cannot remember who said it and only several decades later do I understand more fully the meaning and wisdom of this sentence.
It seems Mother Teresa once said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” Nobody could possibly doubt Mother Teresa’s commitment to world peace. I can only suppose that the reason she refused to attend anti-war rallies was because she disagreed with the focus – however kindly and justly intended – of these rallies. The focus of any anti-something act is one of opposition. Like pushing against something. Could it just be possible – and that’s just an idea – that by pushing hard against it we unintentionally end up supporting it? Feeding it? Strengthening it by giving it so much of our attention that we somehow consolidate it even further?
Surely, for focus to be unwavering, then we need to choose very carefully – no, we cannot be both in equal strength – whether we want to fight what we don’t want or build what we want.
As a year of much darkness, ignorance, stupidity and senseless waste draws to a close, I am hoping for a 2018 with the following:
Replacing anti-Brexit stands with pro-Europe commitment.
Replacing every retweet of a bully or genuinely incompetent politician with a tweet about a wise, kind or simply happily comical individual. Plants that aren’t watered wither. Let’s stop fuelling destructive individuals with too much attention. Instead, let’s lavish our attention on those we want to play more prominent roles in our society.
TV and Radio stations where 50% of news headlines broadcast good, encouraging items. Yes, there are some, if news editors are willing to look.
Rather than anti-sexual harassment protests, pro-respect and gender equality rallies.
This list could go on and on and on…
One step at a time, we can shift our focus, and, consequently, change things for the better.
Together, we can do it.
I wish you all a very happy, healthy, wealthy, fulfilling New Year.