Every day, we are bombarded with messages from the world around us telling us what to do, what to wear and what to buy. It seems that everybody has an opinion on how we should live our lives. So how do you make sure you’re being positively, and not negatively, influenced?
Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world could cause a hurricane in another part of the world. The point is that small, seemingly insignificant actions, can result in massive impacts elsewhere. The same is true of our own lives. The decisions we make in life don’t just affect us, they affect the people and the world around us – in big and small ways. A simple choice about how you live could have consequences for lots of people.
Henry Ford, the first person to mass produce the motor car, once said how a poor person is not someone without money but somebody without a dream for the future. Ford understood that we all need dreams to inspire us to keep going in life, particularly during tough times. Consider the athlete who gets up early every morning to train for hours and hours. Why would they do that? Because they have a dream to win an Olympic gold medal, and it is this dream that keeps their future focused. So what are your hopes and dreams for the future? What are you looking forward to?
There are many reasons why we, or our friends, decide to date someone. We all need people around us to help and cheer us on. And some people find that that works best when there is someone special in their lives. So, what is it that makes someone attractive to you? And here, we are not just thinking about their looks! The problem with some relationships is that often we think more about what we get “out of them” rather than what we “put into them”. And so, when we think about the reasons for going out with someone, it is important to consider what special qualities we contribute to that relationship. So, why would you date someone?
Today there are almost as many mobile phones on the planet as there are people. In the recent past it would have taken up to three months to send a message to a relative somewhere else in the world. Right now, it is possible to instantly have a conversation with anyone almost anywhere in the world. You can upload a video this morning that if it went viral could be seen by millions of people by this evening. If you like playing virtual games then you can challenge someone online from your street, city, country or a different continent and language altogether. Technology is advancing at an unbelievably fast rate and while it brings huge amounts of help to our lives, how do we ensure we enjoy the benefits of technology while still being mindful of the dangers?
You don’t need to spend too long watching the news on TV to know that the world seems to be pretty messed up. Disease, famine, poverty and unemployment are issues that don’t just happen in other parts of the world – it’s going on in your neighbourhood, too. But we all have a choice, don’t we? We can bury our heads in the sand, look after ourselves and pretend these problems don’t exist or we can do our very best to fight for justice and live generously. It is doubtful that we will ever fully understand the complexity of some world issues but we can all make a difference at some level. Every act of kindness and compassion makes the world a better place. So, what do you think about what is going on in the world today? Is there a right and a wrong, or are things a little more complex?