The world is fucked up. I’ll admit it.
Now, if you know me, you know that I have a sunny disposition. That I find the hope + positivity in every single damn thing. So, admitting or stating that the world is anything but sunny + hopeful is a little unlike me. But, that doesn’t mean that I am not a realist. In fact, I think that I am so positive + hopeful, because I am a realist. Oooo… just realized that I know what I mean by that, but it’s so hard to explain. So, I’ll skip the explanation for now.
So, yes. Crappy stuff abounds. We live in a corrupt, messed up, greedy, scary, violent world… which, from our perspective right now, feels to be getting worse all of the time. And it is so tempting to dream of flying off to live on a secluded island for the rest of eternity. To stick our heads in the sand. To ignore it all. Or, instead, to always talk about the hope of the future. To turn away from the scary shit + pretend that we are seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. I mean, what can we really do anyway? It’s all too much negative bullshit. Right? Might as well go on living our own little lives, right? No need to get involved in someone else’s shit.
Yes, it is so very easy to ignore the things that don’t affect us directly. Like, do we really need to care about immigrants or LGTBQI rights or famine or sweatshops or racism or income equality or political corruption? I mean, if we don’t see it or experience it, then it doesn’t directly affect us. I mean, it doesn’t have anything to do with our families… until it does. In any case, it’s easy to look away. To not make it a priority. And, instead, to just try to find the happiness in our own lives. Because, even that is hard many times.
But, I dare say, we must be aware of these things. We must stay woke. Educated. In touch. We must live as a global citizens. Sure, we may not be able to put out every single fire, and yes, it feels so overwhelming most of the time. But, that’s not what we are suppose to do. We are not meant to go around saving everyone, everywhere.
What we are called to do, first, in my opinion, is to stay informed. To open our eyes and ears to see what’s going on, and to hear the stories + cries of others. We really should, at the least, know what is going on in the world.
Secondly, and more importantly, we are called to be of benefit. To find our niche, that thing that we are good at, that passion we have, the personal legend that we are to follow, and let our life be used for the good of others. Not at the expense of ourselves, of course. But, in conjunction with who we are + who we are becoming throughout our entire lives. Who we are + what we do differs so greatly from person to person – and that is amazing. Think how many ways we can all be of benefit, how many things we can create together simply because we all have different passions + strengths.
This is where the world becomes beautiful again. Where the disheartening feelings give way to hope. Where we can look through the burdens, lay down the heavy loads, and see good that exists even in the middle of all of the shit. And this is what compels us to keep going. To never give up. Yes, aside from nature, the beauty of the world is found in us.
Even in the midst of all of the horrible, fucked up, corrupt, disheartening things in the world, there is still beauty. The hope that we so desperately need… that is found in us, in each other. We must never, ever forget to look around + see the people who live their lives so that they may be of benefit to the world. Because these people exist. And we must stay woke to the stories of hope + the heroes of the world.
Do you know any heroes? Are there any people (authors, artists, leaders, friends, family, anyone, alive or dead) who you call your hero? You know, those people who are inspiring not just because they inspire, but because they make the world a better place. These are the people that live life by the mantra “may it be of benefit”.
And, to be honest, I think we are all capable of living lives that may be of benefit. We are all capable of being heroes. Now, don’t freak out. We don’t all have to be a hero that saves the world. Remember, it’s not about becoming famous + saving everyone + solving every problem. It’s about being the hero of our own life. And simply, mindfully seeking to live a life in which all we are, and all we do, is of benefit. I read this in an article lately Elephant Journal and I think that it sums up “being of benefit” quite well:
“Being of benefit is about being in relationship. It is give and take and true compassion—as in putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and then experiencing them from that place. It’s also about being humble enough to invite others to participate with you.”
For me, being of benefit is staying woke to the knowledge that what I do affects others, so that, in everything I do, I seek to spread positivity, beauty, love, truth, and peace. That doesn’t mean that I only seek to have a sunny, positive disposition. Being of benefit means being real, honest, transparent. It is to understand that I can make a difference in every little moment of my life, by simply being aware of how I interact with the world. A smile as I pass a stranger crossing the street. A calm tone of voice when I talk with someone, even when I feel stressed or attacked. An environmentally-friendly home. A blog post that offers something + truly interacts with my readers. A bit of encouragement or inspiration in every photo that I share on Instagram or article I share on Facebook.
Being of benefit means looking outward and acknowledging that this life is not all about me. Although I must live it from my own truth. It is about connection, interaction, and being a hero in my own life. It is about pausing + being mindful of what I do and why I am doing it. It is, simply, considering what good I am offering others as well as myself.
My dear friends, imagine the possibilities that abound should we ponder one question every day, in everything we do? In all we are + all we do, what would it be like if we asked ourselves, “is this of benefit?” There are are many heroes who are already living lives of benefit. Let’s not let the darkness of the world dim their light. And, while we are recognizing the light + hope that they shine into the world, why not add ours to the blaze?
In everything we do, may it be of benefit. Namaste. xoxo. liz.