One thing is true: how we personally respond to difficult times affects others. We can bolster up other people and help them cope or we can pull them down and make their load even heavier. Our attitudes, our faith, and our hope are contagious. So are our actions.
One only has to look at a few areas on the action side of things to see how this is true. As we all know, violence breeds violence. People who are hurt, especially when they are very young, often (though not always!) grow up to be those who turn around and hurt others.
But even on a very mundane level, people's sometimes tenacious habits can be modified or changed just by being around others who have made similar changes. For example, at my local grocery store, very few people walk out the door these days carrying their food in throw away plastic bags. The campaign to bring along your reusable grocery bags has been so successful that even when due to a memory lapse, someone forgets to bring bags from home, you hear them apologize to the cashier about forgetting. Of course, I have never heard a cashier say anything that would make someone feel embarrassed about failing to bring reusable bags to the store; it's just that in the local culture, reusable bags are expected. This is a small change in people’s habits but an important one nevertheless, especially when added to many other small changes in behavior (and a few large changes needed on the governmental level).
The world’s problems are overwhelming for any of us individually, but we don’t have to be totally crushed by them. We can choose joy. We can choose to feel gratitude for the little things in life, even for “just” being alive.
I received a link to the above video from a friend the other day and thought I would share it with you, my Wizzley friends. I hope it made you smile -- it did me!