FREEDOM. I suppose we could all assign our own definition to this beautiful word. Many certainly do. In fact, some will fight to the death or at least, argue until they’re blue in the face, to defend their OWN freedoms: politically, religiously and morally. You can see it all around, the divided groups, from high school cliques to national organizations. “They” are idiots because they do not believe as we do. I certainly understand disagreeing with a certain philosophy, but why do we go to such extremes to condemn those who wish to share their own voice and live their own life according to their own beliefs?
Life is hard. Especially when a person is young and the world is so big and loud and confusing. Every year, approximately one million people commit suicide. ONE MILLION. Why? Is it all mental illness? Could some of these suicides be attributed to a world that was so harsh, that people decided to end their lives, rather than endure its condemnation? I believe the answer is “yes.”
The United Nation’s list of Basic Human Rights leads with the following:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
A spirit of brotherhood. I think we’ve forgotten or we’re just not willing to do it ~ Treat each other as brothers and sisters who, of course, will argue… but in the end, will want each other to be happy. It’s my dream that this will take priority over pushing our own agenda so hard that we only alienate one another. That we remember, above all else, to LOVE.
It sounds like a near impossibility, especially when you’re young. You have your “whole life in front of you” and if you’re unhappy, living another 50, 60 or 70 years seems more like a sentence than a gift. I watched a movie last night where a doctor told a man that he had about 30 days to live. It got me thinking. I hope it gets you thinking, too.
The average life span for a woman in industrialized nations is roughly 75-80 years. That’s an average. Some will live to be 100, while others will not make it to their 18th birthday. My mother died when she was 47. If I were to live as long as she did, I’d have about 6 months to live. Sound depressing? It depends on how you look at it. Nobody really knows what happens after this life. I, personally, believe that this life is just a fraction of what our “souls” will experience. Of course, that could be (and will be) discussed and debated until the end of time. But, here’s my point: We know we have this life, though we’re not guaranteed how long it will last. So, are we going to spend it being unhappy, or happy? Of course, everyone would choose happiness. The problem is, some of us don’t know how to go about attaining it.
Let’s look at what we have to work with: The very fact that you’re reading this means that you’re among the 12-14% of the people in the world who have access to a computer. That’s right. More than 85% of the world population does not have access to the wealth of information that you and I do. Close to a billion people do not have enough food to eat. And almost another billion people started the 21st century being unable to read a book or sign their names. So, here I go… I’m going to talk about the “G” word. GRATITUDE. It’s one of the most powerful tools we can use to better our attitudes and enrich our lives. However bad we think we have it, there is someone else who has it much worse. Now, I’m not trying to guilt anyone into being happy. What I’m trying to do is get us to look outside of our immediate surroundings so we can see the whole picture. And I say “we” because we’re all guilty of forgetting how good we have it sometimes. It’s human nature. But, I think we would all have a more positive (yes, positive) perspective if we ponder for a little while how we would feel if we were given just 30 days to live.
I’m going to count my blessings tonight. I hope you do, too. xo