There is a lot to be concerned about at the moment. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the state of the world. And the future? Well, lets not talk about that.
But it doesn’t take much to step out into the community and be refreshed by the amazing things people are doing.
The genuine care people show for those around them, and in fact even for those from far flung places who they’ve never seen.
I am refreshed and given new hope by the things normal, everyday people are doing. Let me share some of these things with you, so you can be hopeful too.
- The number of initiatives that are popping up to foster community, be it a farmers market, a street garage sale, a free co-work space or people choosing to eat local, people want to connect meaningfully with the people around them.
- Maremma sheepdogs training to be bodyguards for endangered eastern barred bandicoots. Really, how could this not warm your heart?
- Crowdfunding. Seriously, go and look at the generosity of people online to people they’ve never met. It will restore your faith.
- The countless community gardens springing up all over the place. Often volunteer or run on a shoestring budget, these places bring communities together, provide a valuable food source for struggling families and are just nice havens to have in busy lives.
- The number of people who stand up for what they believe in, be that women’s rights, environmentalism, same sex marriage. Look around you and take heart, people still care! And more than that, they are prepared to shout about it and do what they can to make a difference.
- Every single car stopping in the middle of a main intersection to let an echidna cross safely.
- Call up any school and ask about the amazing things our children are doing. They are the future, and they are a pretty switched on bunch.
- Getting a flat tyre and having three people pull over to see if you’re okay and if you need a hand.
- I don’t want to go all Love Actually on you, but go and hang out at the airport. Watch everyone there with the people they love and care about.
It’s too easy to become down trodden, drenched in the deluge of negative news and the woeful state of so much of the world.
My remedy for this? I recommend switch off the T.V., turn off the radio, unplug from technology. Open your front door, walk outside and get to know the community you live in.
I can guarantee you, you will find things there that surprise, hearten and encourage you.
You might make friends, you might find your life’s passion, but if nothing else you will realise that although there might be awful things happening; there are also some incredible things happening in our very own backyards, if only we gave them the same attention as those devastating things.
And if all that fails to cheer you up, get away entirely. Go bush. Sit and contemplate life with dirt beneath your feet, sun on your face and a great expanse of nothing but nature around you.
Ponder the self-assured pompous blue wren, strutting around his territory of twigs and bark, watch a wombat waddle past. Or simply take a moment to appreciate the wonder of this world we call home and all the perfect things that make it.
It’s a failsafe way to put things in perspective and remember things aren’t that bad.