I recently read about Fiona Harold, the top life coach in the UK. When she was in her early 20s she was living with a group of other young people in London and they often sat around together in their apartment being very cynical and negative about the state of the world. The atmosphere in the apartment where they lived became heavier and heavier.
Fiona herself developed a severe state of deep depression. She also began to notice that the more negative she became, the more negative things seemed to happen to her – the apartment was the only one is the area that was often burgled; the residents of the apartment were sick much more often than anyone else she knew and negative events were common place in their lives etc..
One day Fiona woke up and realized that her cynicism had not helped the world at all, in fact it had done just the opposite – her cynicism had in fact added to the negativity and heaviness of the world! Her negative thinking on the world’s problems had in fact made the world a more negative place!
Fiona realized that if there were negative thinking happening around the world, then they were a lack of positivity and she got busy to fill herself and others with positivity. She changed dramatically and for the past many years of her life has focused her attention and time on filling herself and others with positive thoughts and energy so they can make their lives better and help people in difficult situations to make their lives better.
Fiona realized the First Point Of Wisdom: Two negatives don’t make a positive. By reacting to the negativity in the world we are adding more negativity to the pile.
Fiona went on to realize the Second Point Of Wisdom: Contribute to the world by BEING that which we want to see in the world.
If we think there should be more love in the world: BE MORE LOVING. If we would like to see more peace and less conflict in the world, we should fill ourselves with peace and promote harmony with others. Be what you would like to see in the world instead of complaining about it!
If we are concerned about the fighting in countries, we can spend time exploring the seed of conflict and which values will support the healing of the conflict. Conflict is the result or fruit. Explore and look to understand the seed. Which values will support the healing of conflict? Perhaps tolerance, understanding, acceptance or respect. Then practice these values right now in your daily lives. Practice building these values in your daily lives and relationships. Talk about these values with others. As Gandhi said: Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.
Image: Philippe Leone/ Unplash
A friend of mine, Diane Tillman, the author of Living Values Books, introduced this concept in me some years ago. At the time she was travelling in a very poor country and she saw a little girl of about 5 years old painfully suffering from severe diarrhea while alone on the street.
This touched Diane deeply, and although she was not able to help this girl directly, she used it as a motivator to do whatever she can to help whichever children she can in whichever country to make their lives better.
This led me to follow the concept of, ‘Doing whatever I can now to support whoever I can.’ Not just acting or thinking of acting, when I see something in front of me or read something. So whenever I see, hear or read of something bad happening to my human family or Mother Nature, I use the Third Point Of Wisdom – Identify How Best to Contribute and CONTRIBUTE:
If no, can I help physically in another place with other animals or people? If yes, then Act NOW and help.
Can I also contribute subtly, through sending positive and loving thoughts to them? If yes, begin NOW.
Whether I can help directly or subtly, I use the event to stay, ‘awake’ and ‘aware’ – as a reminder that my world family is going to challenges in many place and I do whatever I can to help others as often as I can.
Can I help this animal or person directly and physically? If yes, what is the most effective way to help? Then, Act NOW and Help.
Some ways that we can contribute indirectly may be by respecting what people are going through in other countries and adjusting our lifestyle in the country where we live. When I see photos of the severe water droughts in Africa or other countries, while I can not send water to them today, I can make sure I treat the resource of water I have with respect and encourage others, wherever I can to understand more about this resource.
There are SO many practical and easy ways we can help with water conservation. We have made a very cheap and simple process to collect all rainwater into the water tank at our Centre so for four months of the year we run only on rainwater. I collect all the water that is running through the tap into the basin in my bathroom and use it for flushing the toilet. I encourage people in whichever country I visit to be aware of the shortages in Africa and other countries and to use the water resources they have with a lot of respect and responsibility. If I am taking a seminar I mention about the waste of plastic from water bottles and sometimes – not always but sometimes – the company or university will take up the idea and build a culture of respect for water and no plastic in their own organization.
I know a number of teenagers who have stopped buying bottled water in plastic bottles to reduce plastic waste and they often share how many of their friends start to join them in this. We can do whatever we can to reduce our CO2 emissions so that we are not adding to climate change, which will in turn create more drought around the world. In the place where I live we have natural air ventilation through windows and so almost never need to use air conditioning so this further reduces CO2 emissions.
The Forth Point Of Wisdom: Wherever You Live - Treat Resources With Respect And Reduce Pollution.
Image: Jeremy Bishop/ Unplash
Sometimes we feel surprised about being able to contribute and support other through out thoughts. As part of our series on the power of thoughts on VTV2 Qua Tang Quoc Song, we did an experiment in the studio of gathering an audience and asking them to concentrate the minds on certain thoughts simultaneously and direct their thoughts a person that would enter the studio and stand in front of them, the audience.
The person who was to enter and stand in front of audience was not told anything about what was being ‘sent’ to them or anything about the exercise. In the first round when the audience sent thoughts of peace, very quickly this person felt happy and relaxed and when we did a muscle test on their arm they were strong. In the second round the audience sent them angry thoughts, and they immediately feel uncomfortable and negative and the muscle test on their arm found that they were very weak. The person in the studio was experiencing the power of the audience’s thoughts - both positive and then negative.
This can also be effective when people are not in front of us physically. Have you ever felt that someone was thinking about you and they called you just after you thought this? Have you ever felt someone was remembering you with a lot of love or in contrast, a lot of anger and then you found out that they were in fact doing just that? This is the power of our thoughts and we can use them in a positive way to send to people that are physically far away from us and having difficulties.
The Fifth Point of Wisdom ‘Just As Problems Begin In The Minds Of Humans: Solutions Also Begin In The Minds Of Humans.’
Each moment we choose which one we feed - the problem or the solution. Sometimes when we look at the world it can seem there are so many challenges and problems. It is a little bit like a ‘dark night’ in terms of how people are suffering - but the magical thing is that when the night is at it darkest point… it is closest to the dawn.
Ms Kripalani from England explained it beautifully “There’s a total conviction that there is a better world to have. That there will be transformation and yes, we might have to go through a period of upheaval. But after a dark night, there’s always a day. And the sun doesn’t go away. It just changes its position. And so now, it’s the time for the sun to reappear again. I believe that deeply.”
Let’s hold the vision of the sun and not get lost in the clouds.