The time has come, and we’re as ready as we will ever be. Stepping into another dimension of adult life in the coming week I honestly have no idea what to expect next. I am ill-equipped for this humbling new variety of lingering anxiety blanketed with excitement and blurry expectation. It’s hard to put into words, really. Bringing a new life into the world has given pause to my projections of the future.
My world is becoming both smaller and much larger at the same time. Instinct tells me to protect what I am responsible for so my senses are tuning into much broader frequency ranges than simple self preservation. Because we can not predict the future, now more than ever I recognize the conflicting nature of being human and the need to find balance between self, family, and society by looking beyond personal philosophies to create a world that we can all live in peacefully together so we are able to protect ourselves and each other from our darkest tendencies.
For me, this year is packed full of the kind of huge decisions and responsibilities that I don’t often have to weigh in on, the rare ones that alter the course of my life in distinct ways. A child, a home, a growing responsibility at work. I am buzzing with curiosity and hope for the future… but then I read the news and see never ending stories of terror, racism, violence, intolerance, hate, fear; things that have always been among us but seem to be steadily increasing in weight as my stake in the world continues to cement itself into what is considered adulthood.
Closing my eyes I can still feel joy in the warmth of sun on my face and the smell of spring coming into bloom so I know the potential for true moments of happiness is still alive and well among us, but this rumble under the earth is starting to rattle in my bones and echo into my heart as I worry for tomorrow and the next generation we are welcoming to this world. What fears and uncertainties will they know and how will they be taught to love and help us continue to evolve and discover new kinds of happiness. Will happiness have a different meaning in the future?
Change is inevitable, it’s evolution. Some of us fight to keep things the same, some of us fight to adapt and grow as society demands it. All I know for sure is that the only way to find balance is to allow ourselves to be conscious, alert, aware and understand that our personal viewpoints may not be the only answer for the greater good of our society. There are always two sides to every story. Be sure to hear them both before passing judgement. Assumption is a dangerous precedent and the increasingly casual nature of our consumption and acceptance of information has weakened our deeper understanding of the complex world we now live in. It’s not possible for any one of us to have all of the answers. It takes trust and a balance of conflicting ideas to find realistic solutions to any given problem, not radical emotionally charged rhetoric.
When I woke today and read news of attacks in Brussels my heart sank in disbelief as I worried for those who I know in the city. I felt ill at the thought of them having to navigate that situation and stay safe among the chaos. These events compounded against my already full mind and left me feeling deflated and hopeless for a time. Yet the world is still spinning. Work is still being done, hope is still viable and joy, even in small doses, can still be discovered when we pay close attention.
As small as we may feel at times we must understand that modest acts of kindness and compassion are contagious and as confused, lost, or angry as we may get at times, there is never a good excuse to spread that anger beyond rational discussion. Rather than focus on what makes us different, we should be focusing on common philosophies that we share to bring us together. We let our differences define us and guide us to conflict because we are too stubborn to listen to each other with our common foot forward. How is anything ever going to change for the better unless we make the choice to listen to our rational selves along side our emotional selves?
Balance is life’s simplest philosophy, one I can easily suggest you slip into your daily rotation. As shaky as the ground under my feet feels after todays news, I still somehow see hope that together we can manage to find such a balance, one that may help pull so many opposing forces together and bring us to a future we can believe in, one that encourages happiness rather than fear.