“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
There have been some dreadful and senseless events in the world over the past few weeks and pretty negative news stories involving conflict and uncertainty.
It is so easy when the world is dominated by stories of floods, war, sickness, environment destruction, rising inflation and political shenanigans to fall into psychological darkness where negativity attracts more negativity.
It can be easy to live by the mantra:
As adults and role models to the young in our community, we have a responsibility to show a sensible response to the world.
That does not mean putting on a happy face all the time. This just leads to what has been labelled “toxic positivity”, a kind of inauthentic happiness that denies reality. Toxic positivity can make you inauthentic and ignores reality.
A balanced approach and taking some responsibility for how we react to the world and all its tribulations is a key survival skill.
Some things to consider in a balanced approach to the world might include:
- Taking action when we can. We know that helping others helps us psychologically. So taking some action instead of sitting and worrying and helping someone who needs it is a win-win. Be good to each other when you can.
- Not letting the things we can’t control dominate our lives.
Note: For our students the HSC is inevitable and they have no control over the way the examinations are formatted, the dates the exams are held on etc. The control they have is how well they work towards using this “device” to develop their future. Remind them that they have the power to do what they need to do to create their future.
- Avoid those who would drag us down. Hang out with positive people. Be discerning about the company that you keep. Avoid toxic people and situations. Associate with people that have belief and faith in you and encourage you to develop and grow. Socialise with people that aim high, genuinely care about you and make you laugh.
- Learn the value of occasionally “wasting time” – wondering, daydreaming, laughing at silly things, watching “happy” movies and just allowing yourself to feel good about yourself and the good things in your world.
- Know your limits. Say no when you need to without feeling guilty. Practise self-care. Make good health an absolute priority. If you have good health you have everything and it helps you to keep good energy levels and a positive frame of mind.
Basically our approach to the world is a choice.
As educators, we can join the leaders who say “The system is broken and on its knees. I dread to think what it will look like over the next five to 10 years.”
we can choose to “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” (Stephen Hawking).
Want to share your thoughts on this story, or do you have something you’d like to add? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org