With so many thoughts and so many people thinking, with so many decisions and so many people deciding, with so many works and so many people working, and with so many prayers and so many people praying, sometimes it seems there is no common ground between us and those with which we share our world. We mask our unease about this fact with things like school spirit, college and professional sports, devotion to a particular belief system, patriotism, and political affiliation. Even in conversation and posting on social media, we share not what we think, but what we would like others to think, we think. All of this with the intention of making ourselves heard in a society, that quite frankly, is more concerned with what they want us to hear, rather than listening to what we have to say.
What I find most disheartening is that a group’s solution to the woes of “others”, is simply, for the “others” to find the benefit of joining a group. Of course, in this way, some discomfort can be eased, by turning the energy of being unsettled by our own situation into a disdain for people in groups other than our own. There is a lost art in the world. That of arguing for an opposing viewpoint. It used to be taught in classrooms. God help us, there is also another path, of actually adopting an opposing viewpoint. Converts become the most fervent advocates of ideas. I am suggesting something completely different that any of these. It is my “revolution resolution”.
What if there were no viewpoints? What if my experience, and your experience, and the experience of groups and organizations, were just that? Experiences. All made up of things that happened in the past. All made up of things that have convinced us we are anything but beginners at this thing we call “living life”. We should learn from history. We should make use of what others before us have learned. What we should not do, is believe something to be true because someone or some thing advised us to do so. We should take everything into consideration, but we should also create based on, primarily, the possibilities for today, and not simply relive the expectations of yesterday.
Revolution is a funny word. Yesterday, the earth revolved around the sun. That was a revolution. America was born out of a separation from Great Britain, and that was a revolution. The first was done without our exerting any effort, the second was accomplished by acts of heroism, or treason, depending on which side of the ocean you happened to be born. Same word, two meanings.
In the same way, my “revolution resolution” requires no action, while also requiring creative action. There may be two meanings, but regardless, here is my call to revolution. It is not a manifesto. I am not looking for converts. I do not have seven step process for its enactment and I do not have a way to measure the results. It is an offering of ideas that might help change your life, yes, but it is also a reminder to me as to what is important, to me.
Fall asleep knowing there is a tomorrow. Whether you are in the body you occupy now, or have passed to another place, there is a tomorrow. Wake knowing there is more for you to do, and be grateful for the chance to get them done. Eliminate the phrase, “I have to”, from your vocabulary. When the opportunity comes, replace it with the phrase, “I get to”. Replace the desire to look for things by which to be offended with the activity of finding ways in which to spread joy and kindness. Understand that love is not a feeling. Feelings are feelings. You are loved, regardless of how you feel.
Understand that you do not know enough about the mysteries of life to determine if you had a good, or a bad, day. Keep one thing a day, a secret, between you and the Divine. Random acts of kindness are good, random acts of kindness done in complete secrecy are better. Do your work, but do your work, knowing you are not your work. Provide your family and yourself with nice things, but remember you are neither the providing, or the nice things. If you have the chance to think of lofty ideas or play with a child, always play with the child. Be open to others. Be available to others. Be open and available to what you need also.
If you begin to worry, be grateful. If you begin to cry, let it out. If you find some peace in this lifetime, share it. And if you believe you cannot accomplish something, adjust the time frame of completion, rather than giving up the dream. Be a partner in the creation of your world. Dare to influence the will of God, not by constantly nagging God about what you think needs to be done in the world, but by changing what there is for God to work with in the world. And in doing all of these things, realize that you are not alone.
There are others, who, like you, are concerned with compassion, surrounding the world with love, and speaking words of truth and kindness, where those words are needed most. We are not starting a revolution, we are joining a revolution that began thousands of years ago. We do not need membership cards. We do not need monthly reports on progress. We do not need annual fee renewals. We would be happy to have you join, but there is no way to join. The revolution exists each time you smile in the face of a situation that smiling seems odd. It exists when you surround someone with love that does not deserve to be surrounded by love. It exists, when only you and God know what good you have done. It is the creation of kindness, with love, and with only the whisper of the Divine felt around your ear, saying, “We are making it better. We are redeeming the world. One smile at a time”.