“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Henry Ford. To understand the application of Henry Ford’s quote, try a quick experiment. Focus on your knee. What is it touching? How is it positioned? The experimental question is: Were you aware of this before? Our perception and our cognizant attention to sensory detail is driven by our frontal lobe. We will pay attention to what is driving our thoughts and ignore what is “off the road”. For example, if someone tells you to focus on your knee or focus on the sounds around you, what you are attending to will change. Donald Hoffman in his TED talk delves into the importance of our perception. It is important to be aware of the affect of our mindset and belief system on how we perceive the environment.
Martin Luther King Jr. taught so many in his time on how to hope for social change. I believe that his words are still applicable today. Once again history is plague by turmoil I believe that the name of the conflicts may be different, but the intensity of the anger, fear and hate is similar. I have found hope in reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s words on hope. To quote him, “Genuine hope involves the recognition that what is hoped for is in some sense already present.” The media inflames viewers with stories of violence, hate and disrespect. Stories of collaboration are not as interesting. But there are many people working hard to solve the real issues that our country faces. I want to say thank you to everyone who works to take care of others. You are our hope.
Emotional Well Being
Surviving this political season may be difficult. Fear and hate appear to the be the battle cry from both camps. Neither of these emotions is helpful for sustaining emotional well being. So what do we do? We can express gratitude. The article In Praise of Gratitude, describes studies that show the positive effects that gratitude has on mental health. During this political season we may need to go further, than reflecting on our own experiences. We may need to consciously create an environment of doing something kind for someone else. Maybe letting the mother with a small child in front of of you at the checkout line, offering a seat to someone on the bus or making our family someone’s favorite dinner, may help someone else. We need to look out for each other during this time. Looking for opportunities to be kind and appreciating kindness done to us, may be the only way to survive until November.