In many ways, nothing seems impossible these days. We can order lobster from Maine and have it shipped overnight. Our words or images may be made available around the world instantly. Books, movies, courses, and teaching can be downloaded with the touch of a screen. Conversations are shared with people on continents far away.
This may be the miracle of technology, but it is miracle still the same. What about our living in this time is not our living in times of miracle and wonder? Without fully knowing how, we benefit from it all. If we are not lost in the wonder, and if we do not become dependent on the illusion it creates, living becomes easy. There are downsides to our newfound freedom, but freedom it remains.
Our burden is what to take from these gifts and what to leave behind. Our flourishing, or our demise, will come by the decision to use these advances for good, or for greed.
How do I know? I do not. What right do I have to speak on such things? None.
We all think we know what is best, but if we were also honest, very few of us are experts on any of these ideas. If the experts were honest, even they are handicapped when it comes to knowing how to use miracles for the greater good. There will always be war, famine, poverty, and even, anxiety, depression, and fear. No matter what else happens, these will exist. This I do know… because they have been around forever.
What are we to do about such things? Simply asking the question is the first step. We may want to criticize others, but these issues have as much to do with us as with anyone. May we use technology to solve all of these? Yes. Will we solve all of these? My guess is, no.
As with anything worth doing, the process… the questioning… the act of creating solutions, has to be what is treasured. The results will handle themselves. All of the technology in the world will not help us with the treasuring of the process. We might turn to religion, but religion is not the answer. We might want to turn to history, what have we learned so far? Our attention could be turned to the building of governments, the media, or non-profits. These can be good, but there is only one problem.
They exist outside of ourselves.
One of the only things that I know from experience, is that thoughts are things. Thoughts matter. We could say it in a hippie-dippie way… good vibes make a difference.
And here is the story I will share. From the tenth grade, in the middle of geometry class, and having everything to do with my vibes.
Some kid sat behind me every day, cracking jokes that I thought were not funny, and generally getting on my last nerve for a solid hour. I was not certain, but I thought I could take him in a fight and considered it for three months straight. My thoughts flew to how good it would feel to thump him one good time. I thought this every time I walked in the door of class.
Then, one day, it happened that during class, we both were in the hallway at the same time. Just him and me. No cameras, nothing stopping me from at least trying to shut him up for once. Something stopped me, but it was not clear until that evening what it was. He may have deserved it, or he may not have deserved it, but for three months I waited for my chance, and I froze.
Later that night, I thought of his family. Perhaps, because something happened in my family. Perhaps, because my ability to think of others was increasing. I wondered what his life was like at home. For some reason, I got the impression it was not good. And, though I had allowed him in my head for three months and wished him ill, this time, I wished him well.
Whether those good vibes changed something in me, or whether they changed something in him, the next day was better for me. I did it again the following night. Things got better still. I saw the kid as a person struggling, like we all do at times. He did not seem as obnoxious. His jokes seemed a little funnier. For the remainder of the year, as I walked in the doorway of that classroom, rather than thinking of thumping him, I wished him well in my mind.
There is no tear-jerking result to this story. We are not lifelong friends. We did not pal around that year or at any time in our lives. I do remember his name, but I do not know if he is now living or dead. No Hallmark ending, but to this day, when he crosses my mind in the form of that 10th grade student, I wish him well. Maybe in some way it helps him. In every way it helps me.
Got a smart ass at work? Wish them well. Get a bill unexpectedly? Wish it well. Someone getting on your nerves? Wish them well, too.
Do things seem a little off? Be grateful and wish yourself and the world well. Worried for the world? Be grateful for what you have and wish it well.
As for war, famine, and poverty? Anxiety, depression, and fear? Be grateful for who you are, and wish those well also.
The difference you make in the world may never be known. The difference you make in yourself will be known quickly and in many ways.
There is only love.