Well, that was quite a year, wasn’t it? Whether it was Trudeau, Trump, or Thunberg, the anxiety and anger displayed on the world stage throughout 2019 was overwhelming. And let’s not forget Brexit, black-face (ugh-so sad), and war –now the stress is tenfold.
I know many young people who watch the news every day. When I was a student, I couldn’t have cared less. The world is a changed place but it also feels that the more it changes the more it stays the same. It’s like one step forward and two back. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
This last year of political and social unrest seemed unavoidable and all negative. Even people trying to make a point or influence some positive change are portrayed as scowling and nasty. The media pitting a young girl against stodgy privileged politicians, for example, seems wrong on so many levels. It doesn’t aid the cause but adds to the community polarity. It all takes its toll on you, the listener or bystander, whether you realize it or not.
The doomsday messages of global proportions were difficult to ignore but I hope you were able to compartmentalize some of it just in the name of survival. Your priority is the everyday stuff like having to pay the rent, raise your kids, or take care of your elderly parents–everyday life.
Sometimes it seriously feels as though the world is so screwed up and there’s no hope.
Well, Auntie’s going to tell you a secret. Hope comes from putting one foot in front of the other in a positive manner. It comes from within and though it can be dashed by anxiety or loss it can be reclaimed as your own.
This all sounds pretty hokey, doesn’t it? Well, maybe it is but the fact of the matter is that when you look back over your year it always seems to be the bad stuff that stands out. Maybe a family member passed away, you were broke all the time, and your dog ran away—all terrible things but how about the good stuff? When did you laugh? Maybe a friend got married or had a baby, maybe you got an unexpected A on an exam, or perhaps a fellow driver waved you into traffic. Don’t allow the heavy cloak of anger and negativity to take away those moments of joy.
Those positive flashes are there if you chose to see them. That’s where hope comes in. As I said, it’s within you and a personal choice. Your mind and being are so powerful you can work at moving forward to making 2020 what you want.
I’ve told you before but it bears repeating, the difference between a goal and a dream is a timeline.
Dreams are a wonderful, airy-fairy, fru-fru, fluffy facade that has nothing to do with conscious action or decision making. They allow you to imagine what things might be like with your head in the clouds. The thing is that they are based on avoidance and ingenuous truths that ultimately affect life decisions, moods, and personal connections.
Life takes hard work and planning. Allowing events to happen around you with no interaction, effort extended, or intentional objectives is like floating along through a video game wearing your VR headset in your elderly uncle’s basement.
A new year means you can make it what you want. Ditch the negativity. Do affirmations every day where you put up a note where you can see and repeat to yourself. Something like “I am worthy of success” or “My hard work will pay off” or “I will not allow myself to be dragged down with negativity”. This coming year is yours to stay positive and move forward.
Go forth and conquer. I know you have it in you to grab on to hope, work hard, and be proud of who you are regardless of the crazy world we live in.
PS: This column was written and published before the turmoil in Iran with the assassination of Qassem Soleimani and the fallout that followed. I pray that cooler (not to mention– smarter) heads prevail to avoid the posturing and escalation of tensions. There is always hope and that is what I cling to.
Also: it is with a heavy heart that I offer my condolences to the families and friends of those lost in the Ukrainian Airline disaster. My heart breaks.