We are all born receptive to love, kindness and hope.
As we grow up however, we encounter the less hopeful, more challenging aspects of human nature – including discovering that the things humans do at times can be hateful, calculating and unkind.
There are very few of us who would not have been touched by the recent events in America.
When events like these happen, it’s easy to develop a very negative and pessimistic view of the world, and its inhabitants. Though this can turn us cynical or leave us feeling helpless, human beings are just as capable of the most incredible, amazing and wonderful kindness and love.
In these times it’s beneficial to focus on the positive – on the goodness that also surrounds us.
If you’re feeling a little jaded about where humanity is headed, here are some active ways to restore your faith
Focus on happiness
Unfortunately it’s human nature for us to talk about the things that we are finding hard or difficult – or people or events that are making us feel miserable.
So to change the dynamics around you – ask people about the happiest moments in their lives instead. Ask them what they care about, what makes them happy and what motivates them.
As has often been quoted – “with our thoughts we create our world”.
So talk happy + think happy = be happy.
Look for the good news
The media usually only bring us the stories that will get the most attention – violent acts, wars, natural disasters etc. This can distort our perception of what the world is really like.
There are also a lot of people doing good out there, and positive new stories to rejoice in.
You can also subscribe to news feeds that only focus on positive stories. Eg:
This one is my personal favourite – listening to upbeat and happy music.
The more positivity and happiness we expose ourselves to – even music – the better we feel.
My favourite songs this week (which are on almost continuous repeat in my house):
Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte
Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris
Say Hey – Michael Franti
I challenge you to listen to these songs without dancing along.
Help people less fortunate than you
It can help us to have a reality check sometimes – in the form of associating with people who are experiencing hardships worse than ours – especially those people who are facing great difficulties with resilience and positivity.
Get actively involved by volunteering your time and services to help these people.
Volunteer at a hospital, animal shelter, or local charity – and help improve lives.
It also gives us a great sense of perspective – that no matter how difficult things might seem for us, there are people facing much greater hardships with pluck and determination.
Human beings are amazing and resilient.
Build a positive network
Associate with people who are positive – their energy and happiness is contagious.
Spend time each day listening to inspiring audio talks.
Bookmark pages on the internet of people who inspire you through their actions and endeavours.
Share the love
Tell stories of human goodness to other people you meet, in order to inspire them to see the good in humanity too.
When you’ve found positive stories about humanity, share your experience with others. If you have your own blog or you update a social network stream with stories, share more stories that are positive and uplifting.
Lead by example
Encourage faith and trust in the people around you through your actions.
When you model the kind of change you wish to see, you spark ripples that continue on. One act of kindness can have huge follow on effects – continuously improving the community of which you belong.
Make life a little better, a little happier, a little easier for everyone you meet.
Ultimately you can choose to be kind as a form of taking a stand against the injustices, violence and unkindness in this world.
There is power in kindness. By being kind, you affirm and create the kind of world you want to be a part of. You can choose to have faith in humanity.
Change the world – one heart at a time.