Friday, June 16, 2006
MEDITATION: "My Kind of Realism"
I’m sure that some people who read my writings consider them to be overly optimistic, unrealistically upbeat, even pollyanna-ish. They probably say to themselves, “I wish Ham would be more realistic. The world is not nearly as good a place as he makes it out to be!” They might admonish me to “face facts”, hoping that I’ll “wake up” and see that life is basically a wicked and frightening state of affairs. They see me, probably, as someone who goes through life “with blinders on”, ignoring the evil that surrounds us. Let me respond to those people as clearly as possible. No, I don’t ignore the evil in the world (to do so would be insanity); I just happen to believe that the good in the world far outweighs the evil. I’m sure there are bad things happening on my street right this minute, but I’m also sure there are at least ten times as many good things happening. I pass people everyday who are probably entertaining malicious thoughts, but I believe there are countless more people who are thinking thoughts of kindness. Like all of us, I have a choice, each and every minute. I can choose to focus on the relatively small amount of ostentatious evil in the world (as regularly reported in the media), or I can choose to pay attention to the vast amount of ordinary, behihnd-the-scenes good (almost never reported) . I can zero in on the one or two despondent, angry people in the grocery store, or I can notice the ten people who seem cheerful and content. I can chew over my deficiencies, or I can count my blessings (which would take hours). I simply choose good over evil. I believe (and I’ve seen ample proof of this) that if I focus on the good in my life, and try to appreciate it, it will steadily increase. Whatever I pay attention to is what grows, so why would I pay attention to evil instead of good? Strange as it may sound, I think I am being way more realistic than my critics! I’m facing the facts that life is generally productive and beneficial, while they are hiding from that truth and pretending that life is mostly destructive and evil. I think they are the ones with blinders on – blinders that prevent them from seeing the unlimited good that lies all around them. I took my blinders off years ago, and I hope they can do the same.