“Freedom of action, freedom of expression. And that means the freedom to express your opinion, not the freedom to hurl crude insults at those who think differently, though these days some people don’t seem to know the difference. As far as I am concerned, that kind of abuse has nothing to do with freedom.”
From: “The Tulip Virus” by Danielle Hermans, translated from the Dutch language by David MacKay. Published in 2008 and translated in 2010.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way…every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom.”
“Our lives begin to end
The moment we stay Silent
about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King
I am reminded of my freedoms and my inner voice reminds me that our freedoms mean nothing if we do not live freely. We are free to differ with each other but do it with respect, if not for the person, then at least for the right of that person to have a different opinion. When we differ, persuasion is the key to resolve the differences. And if persuasion based on rational (to you) arguements fail to convince then we must simply agree to disagree and move on to find common ground. Bullying and abuse of power only generates hard barriers, resentment and hatred.
I lived a life dedicated to making changes that would make life more equitable and fair for all. Obviously there is still lots to be done. But we always remained civil, peaceful and calm. And big changes happened. We did not let demagogues control us. Our minds remained free to adopt and live the lives we had the right to live. When we saw an injustice, we spoke up and took action.
Don’t complain and take no action. Speak up and persuade. Live and let live – and if possible, help others along the way. “We are not here to see through others, we are here to see each other through.” And finally, live well, love always and laugh out loud every day.
It is a world absolutely full of fearful problems that have the effect of putting many of us into a tailspin. Weather events are so much more than we are used to seeing. People are even more intolerant of each other than they have been. Social media has given a platform for idiots to attack the postings of others just to get noticed. It seems that we are falling down the rabbit hole of nuclear war between two peoples whose leaders are just plain out of touch with reality. All of that, and here I am espousing that we can be happy anyway.
How? No, we don’t just stick our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away. There are a couple of things that I would advocate. Look at what is happening that particularly concerns and/or scares you. If enough people did something in particular, could it change it for the better? Could enough people doing something at least make the situation you are concerned about liveable. Then just start working towards that end yourself and do what you can to get others to join you. Everything worthwhile started with just one person taking just one step followed by another.
What sorts of things can we do? Pick up that piece of garbage that some idiot dropped and left. Consider and do what you can to be ready for a severe weather or flood event that might cut power and shut down all services for a period of time. A water supply is essential along with foods that can be stored and eaten without access to power. Know your neighbors and develop friendships with them. Be supportive and caring regardless of differences.
What about the biggies? Climate change and nuclear annihilation? What can I do that can make a difference?
Let’s look at climate change first. As mentioned above, I can prepare for emergencies that can be caused by severe weather. But I can also reduce my impact on worsening stuff that contributes to speeding up and exacerbating climate change. Don’t bother arguing with deniers. Just reduce your carbon emissions. Reduce consumption of things that contribute to the destruction of rain forests and forests in general. Reduce consumption! Share.
Nuclear annihilation? Raise your voice wherever and when ever you can. Let our so-called leaders know know that “heck no – we won’t go” is real. Not appeasement but for sure not bombs. The Korean problem is a real tough one and I don’t have any answers. If we can collectively figure a way to ensure people can get unfiltered messages and news let’s do it. Start by unilaterally declaring peace. Get that to the people. Send huge supplies of food to the borders and offer to help deliver it to where it is needed. Include clothing and building supplies as needed. Show that we really do want to be at peace and helpful. No money – goods that no other country may buy for money.
Above all, do what you can do. Make it prt of your conversations with others to ask and encourage them to do the same or at least what they can do. Don’t obsess about the news. Live locally and do what you can. If we can all do that, we will certainly be happy anyway!😎
What music do you listen to? Do you choose it or do you just listen to random music? Do you even listen to music or do you only listen to talk radio or the like? This is important! It is along the lines of GIGO.
You really can change your mood and move back to “happy”. Having a tough day? Nothing going quite right? Are you being “sharp” with people around you? As soon as you notice and acknowledge – take a “sanity break”. You need a bit of time to regain perspective.
Here is where most of us are told to meditate for a while and to unplug. But we can’t! We just don’t have the strength right now to calmly meditate. I have another suggestion that is based on neuroscience, works, and is easy to do. Just put on some music and listen to it for a while.
But, not just any music! Think about the music you listened to when you were happiest. This is trigger music and will trigger the emotions you felt and feel when that music is played. Prepare a playlist on your device that you can plug your earbuds or headphones into and walk around with. Be selective and positive here. Remember, GIGO.
OK – now when you recognize that you are really down, give yourself permission to take a “happiness break”, get your device with your “happy time” playlist, your earphones or earbuds and take a walk – listening to your music.
Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. And, listen to your happy times music. 🎶😎
Just this picture of a list for you to consider today. Please, read it through and do as many as you can this week.
And last but by by no means least, live well, love always and laugh out loud every day!
Throughout my life I have done a huge amount of research in the field of happiness. It interested me that it was a subject that underlies success writings and achievement writings and personal management (what we used to call time management). I wonder if you noticed this stuff along the way as well.
- You become what you think about! (Earl Nightingale)
- You reap what you sow.
- What you focus on grows.
- Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude … (Viktor Frankl)
- You’re right about that dear. 😛 (Wayne Dyer)
You get the idea I think. I wrote earlier about simple pleasures and exhorted us to actually do things that we know will bring us happiness and pleasure. It strikes me that we need to take a few minutes and write down a bliss list (I wish I could recall who taught me that). What it is is simply a list of things that bring feelings of bliss when you just think about them. I just have to think about sitting here in my back yard and I feel at peace.
Take a few minutes and write down a list of the things that bring you feelings of bliss or happiness. For me this list includes things like outdoor patio dining, fresh toasted tomato sandwich, running, being near water, walking on a beach, raisins, nature areas of all sorts, dressing up(!), my special music playlist, being with grand kiddies, dining room meal at home with Luise… and so on, for three pages. It includes things I think I would love to do. I guarantee you that you will feel happy just thinking about these things as you write the list. It is not a gratitude list – it is a list of things that make you feel good. It’s okay to put indulgences here that you might feel a little guilty about – it is your bliss list!
Now what? Do you sit down and do this every time you want a lift in spirits? Not necessary. You have already done that. Rather, place this list in a convenient place where you can look at it regularly. I keep my list in my office which is where I sit down each week to review my past week and plan out my coming week. It is also where I review my day and plan my next day. I look over random parts of the list before I get started. You can keep your list in your sock drawer if you like. The important part is to look it over at least once a day. Just looking over the list will bring you feelings of happiness and even bliss. We should all have that in our days.
Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day! And remind yourself what brings feelings of joy into your life! 🙂