One of the most wonderful things that has happened this year, oops, last year, was communicating with such talented and wonderful people from around the world through this blog. Reading other people’s blogs affirms my belief that we are not that different from one another, and given a vehicle to get to know each other, we might stand a chance to save the world from nuclear destruction.
One of those people is Dianne Gray, a writer and blogger from “down under.” I’ve spoken of her many times. We’re complete strangers, but we’ve gained this distance relationship that is exciting. I so enjoy her writing and blogging, and yesterday she answered Michael Pick’s (another blogger) writing challenge: There is a speeding meteor heading for earth. You have three months to live. What will you change? Diane’s answer is hilarious. Go ahead give it a read!
Like other things that I HAVE to write, this one woke me up before sunrise. Thoughts were screaming at me to WRITE THEM DOWN! (It’s exciting when that happens, but I do lose considerable sleep because sometimes they are so annoying.) They were shouting: “Okay, Miss Hotshot Writer/blogger/teacher, what would YOU DO in three months to change the world? How would you solve the Doompocalypse Redux?
What the hell is a Doompocalypse Redux? Really? Three months? To make a difference? You’re kidding! The usual resolutions of losing weight and getting more exercise doesn’t work because, frankly, there isn’t such time for such drool. Besides, This time, I have to aim higher. Bigger. Bolder. Shoot for the biggies, right? Maybe gun control? Maybe socialize medicine? Maybe solving world hunger? No. There isn’t time!
Then true inspiration came — The only thing I can control is ME, so that’s where I should focus. Me. But what could a middle-aged American woman do in three months to change the world?
Then it dawned on me. It’s really quite simple.
1. Live in the present, positively.
Striving to remain positive and do good things everyday is an endeavor that’s worthwhile. I know. It’s boring, But give it a try. A positive attitude can change the world. Just think. If everyone respected and cared for one another and stopped looking out for Number One, things would be so different, wouldn’t they? Responding to situations calmly without fear and anger would diffuse the most dire situations. Of course, it would mean turning off the “News” on television and reading most periodicals.
Okay. I admit it. I’m a bleeding heart liberal — I don’t know when that became a bad thing, but conservatives think being a liberal thinker is a sign of weakness. It’s not. Just the opposite. Try it. Remaining positive in a swirling culture of negativity is very difficult. When did it become unpopular to care about other people? Once I was told by a boss that I was “too nice to make it in business.” A short time later he fired me to prove it.
But I have to admit. He was right. I never did succeed in the corporate environment. I didn’t have time for the games and politics that permeated the culture. I didn’t fit. So be it. I’m better off in my overstuffed chair writing everyday.
2. Keep smiling!
I smile at everyone. I’ve learned that a smile softens the grumpiest curmudgeon. I bet there’s a study out there that proves that smiles are disarming. Go ahead — look for one! After all, you only have three months to prove me wrong! (Na, na, na, na, nah, na!)
Smile all the time! When you’re working. When your writing. Even smile when you’re on the phone. It changes your voice inflection. If you don’t believe me–try it on a telemarketer! They won’t know what hit them. I know there are studies that prove my point here; after all, I learned that when I was selling insurance and investments. People “hear” your friendliness and it opens them up to what you have to say. A person with a smile usually doesn’t harm you, right? (I know muggers don’t usually read blogs, so I think I’m safe here.)
3. Share what I have and Live in Peace
Most people wouldn’t want my material goods. Most of them are old and used, but I do have other attributes I know they search for. Like Peace. I live in peace . People have told me they come to see me because they feel a sense of calm when they are near me. I feel peace inside and out. I don’t have to go to heaven to find contentment. It’s right here on Graceland Blvd. where I live.
I think most of us would rather live in harmony. Fighting is HARD. Holding grudges is HARD. Hanging on to past aggressions is HARD. Let it all go. Revive the “flower power” that may still live in you from the 60’s (if you’re old enough). Find it, if you’re not. True freedom is found inside, not outside, and living in peace is the secret.
So there you have it, Michael Pick. Maybe these things aren’t completely original. Maybe they’ve become trite in modern society. But living simply with good intentions is harder than you think.
For those of you who would like to participate in this challenge, go to Michael’s blog to get the instructions. This challenge is one we all can do, and I’d love to read what you would change given only three months.