Recently, I’ve had a number of thought provoking conversations about news, the state of the world, you know, THAT stuff. At the same time as becoming more aware of the effect food has on my being, I’ve been increasingly aware of the way in which I’m affected by other things I ‘feed’ myself. Food is energy, information is energy.
I feel the tension of wanting to be informed but not, for want of a better word, depressed – in a shoulders drooping a little kind of way. I’m selective in my news sources (The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Slate, Scoop etc), no longer tuning in to websites like Stuff. As in the same way I can feel caffeine stimulate a very subtle sense of agitation, skim reading a page full of words like ‘road toll rises-assault-arson-ISIS-Ebola’ (as today’s Stuff homepage reads) also stimulates a response which doesn’t feel healthy.
Be joyful knowing the facts. One of my favourite pieces of advice from Paul Hawken (environmentalist, entrepreneur and author), quoting Wendell Berry. Someone asked him, at the end of a talk, about his response to seeing so much destruction in the world (I’m paraphrasing) and he responded by explaining that his approach is to let go of hope – because hope is the flip side of fear. We hope that something will happen, we fear that it won’t, both of these are based in the future, not grounded in the present. Instead, he says, be joyful knowing the facts. We need to know what the problems are in order to address them, but let’s try and remain full of joy.
My question for myself is how do I be joyful knowing the facts? How do I stay informed but not feel, on some level, ill at ease? Good stories. I think I need more good stories. Stories of joy and beauty to balance the dark ones. What helps me do my work, and be of service, is knowing that I connect into a global luminous spiderweb of people working joyfully to make the world a kinder, healthier, more harmonious place. And so, because I’m guessing I’m not the only one in need of these stories, I’ve decided to give myself a little project. For one week, I’ll post one (or maybe two or three) good stories here every day, I’ll keep them as short as I can. At the end of the week, I’ll check in to see how I feel and how you feel and maybe we’ll keep going.
So, without further ado. Good Stories. Both are less than five minutes. EnJoy.