Crazy Times: Working on Action, Not Reaction

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Hi everyone,

It is good to be back at the blog. So much has happened since last summer. Not just in my life, but in all of our lives. Whether we are just starting out in the world or have been around the block a few times, this will be a defining moment in time for multiple generations.

I don’t think I am alone in stating that my emotions have been all over the place. Sometimes, I have an amazing amount of resolve to deal with the pandemic and social unrest and divisiveness unfolding everywhere around US. Other times, I am doing my best to hide a top notch 1st world problem melt down.

With everything falling into various degrees of uncertainty it is easy to see the worst in everyone and everything. It is easy to rant, to blame, and to play victim. I know because, not only do I see our collective reactions daily, but I have been working hard to transform these tendencies within myself.

( A special shout out to my sister Cindy, Fr. Brian, and my trainer, Mark. Thanks guys, for always believing in me. )

So, the question I have been asking myself is: “Do you want react or do you want to act?” Well, of course I want to act. I want to be a positive force in uncertain times. Action can have many different implications. Peaceful protests are an obvious option for many people to bring about change. I admire those continue to make their voices heard by exercising their right to peacefully assemble. However, what if that is not a practical option for a person at this time? How do I change my corner of the world. The neighborhood I live in, my employment, my daily encounters?

So many thoughts… I have decided to start with what I am able to control on a daily basis.

Control of my physical environment:

I am in control of my home, my car, my workspace, and my social media. None of the outside chaos needs to enter these places. I can make choices on music, movies, social media, and news. I can make my environments nourishing and peaceful. I can use social media on my terms and limit news to a quick overview of the day’s events. The cool thing about personal environments is that most people get a “Vibe” when they walk by a home or stop by an office. They definitely get a “vibe” when they read a social media posts. They get a “vibe” when people pass them on the road. The question is: “Am I adding peace and beauty or chaos and angst to the environment I find myself in ?” I am hoping to be adding more of the former and far less of the latter. Although, I sometimes still give they Laura Kelly glare before I realize it. Oops! Some people just really know how to push buttons, ya know.

Control of my actions and reactions:

Truth: No one is going to change anyone’s mind these days. Not about masks, not about the pandemic , not about politics. We are a modern tower of Babel. This can be changed; but not with shouts, rants, and confrontations. It will be changed by a deliberate effort to bring back civility. We need rediscover the humanity we all share and do our part to be civil; even as we work for change.

It is up to me to stop the devolution in my own little circles by controlling my actions and my reactions. My rules for action are simple ( in theory, not always in reality.) : Always be kind, do the right thing, think about how my actions and words may be affecting others, search for common ground, choose company wisely, ask thoughtful questions, ignore petty little digs, know that everyone has their story and that their story has shaped how they see the world, just like my story has shaped me.

Reaction is a bit more of a challenge for me. I have been known to react without thinking. More so in my youth than today, but reactionary Laura still lurks in the shadows ready to pounce at any perceived injustice. So, I am working deep breathing and looking to my above choices of action to counter my need to react.

Anyone committed to a cause knows they are in it for the long haul. Hopefully, when things settle down we will not be merely back to normal. With a lot of work we can move forward and evolve into something better. Wouldn’t that be something?

How about you? Are you working and taking action for positive change in your own way? Volunteering, standing up for civil liberties, spreading kind words and actions? I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by the blog,

Laura

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