Planting Seeds

I find myself wishing for simple things nowadays.

A nice cup of hot tea, a smile from a stranger, a lovely unconventional conversation.

When I was younger, I would pray for world peace, to end hunger, to end violence until my stock still pointed-to-the-heavens-hands finally faltered then I would crawl into bed hoping my prayers would make a difference in the world.

As you know, it has not made a difference. Sorry about that guys, I tried my damnedest.

My mother-in-law has an eloquent saying she uses quite frequently which is: Wish in one hand and shit in the other, tell me which one fills up first.

Graphic? Somewhat.

But is the point made? Yes. Definitely, yes.

I spent a good part of my life wishing and praying for better things wondering why nothing was improving. I would wait and wonder getting mad at everything else around me for not improving.

Ideas, thoughts, happy wishes, good thoughts, prayers, are all wonderful things.

But they are only the beginning of a long process.

They are seeds.

Simple seeds that have the potential to grow into mighty oaks if the root is planted deeply enough. They also have the possibility of blowing into the wind, never seen again if they were never truly invested in.

If we really want to see a change, be a change, we must accept that we cannot do all the big impossible things in one setting.

We must realize our prayers, our wishes, our hopes, mean nothing.

We must put some work behind our dreams.

Hard work.

Really hard.

We must work ourselves to the point of exhaustion and irritation with dedication and fool-hardy belief.

That is why it is so hard to effect change. It is tiresome.

So damn tiresome.

It is fighting a system that has been allowing the same things to happen for long periods of time. A societal system, a judicial system, a mental process of accepting these weird, wrong, customs as the normal.

For instance, is there any reason people go hungry? Any real freaking reason? There is so much food in this world.

Soooo much food. So much food we waste. Daily.

Yet, there are children that go to bed hungry, starving.

Why?

I guess, we chalk it up to statistics. We accept it because we believe that of course there are some people that 'have to go hungry' because they are poor, because they live in a poor area, because they are uneducated, it is just logical.

Well, that thought process is highly illogical. If we want to look at it logically, we would realize that we have such an overabundance of food, of housing, of possessions, we could easily house, home and clothe people that need it.

People just do not want to do it.

Because its work, because it goes against their beliefs of helping someone, because they do not want to foot the bill, because they think people should help themselves.

Because of bullshit thought processes.

I am firm believer that we belong to each other. We are all star stuff. The universe did not create us differently. And I know a lot of people do not appreciate my point of view. I have made peace with that a long time ago.

We as a society like to put band-aids on situations until we are forced to act.

A friend of mine was talking about helping her friend move out of a 'bad neighborhood'. Her friend did not 'deserve' to be in a bad neighborhood because she is a good person.

This bad neighborhood has a high crime rate, violence, drugs and so on. Moving a good person out of a bad environment only helps the one person. I find it hard to believe that there is only that one 'good person' in the neighborhood.

We need to stop this thought that only our friends and family belong to us. We need to remember that we are all human. That we all matter. Even if we do not know each other, even if they are in some funky, weird, bad place on their journey in life, they matter.

They contribute to our society.

What about taking back our neighborhoods? Watching out for our neighbors? Hell, even choosing to know our neighbors down the road before judging them?

Yes we have police, emergency services and a judicial system in place but really aren't they only there to enforce the law and respond to emergencies?
They are not there to make our lives safe, happy and content.

That is up to us.

It is a like us choosing to blame a teacher for not instilling knowledge in our heads on an everyday basis. Our teachers can give us the tools to learn but what we do with them is up to us.

And I do not know if I truly believe if the 'bad' people in that particular neighborhood are truly bad.

I am not saying I wholeheartedly believe the axiom that people are products of their environment.

While our past and our environments definitely play a role in who we are I believe we ultimately have the choice to overcome and change if we have the desire to do so. I am in no way saying it is easy or not close to damn near impossible, but I am just saying that people do have the choice to be who they want to be. Once again though, hard work.

What would happen if we as a community, a state, a country took back our society? What if we chose to stand up for ourselves and our neighbors? What if we took five minutes to get to know each other to assuage each other's fears?

What would happen if we would acknowledge, that yes, violence, crime, poverty, evil people, and horrible acts will probably never stop?
What would happen if we actually took charge of our lives and wanted to effect a positive change? If we chose not to just sit around and mope and bitch about all the bad things but instead chose to do something positive?

Even if it was small gesture?

Hurt people hurt people. Yes, I believe that.

But you know what else I believe? Kind people can inspire kindness in others.

Not always, and not always on the first try. Second try or third. Hell maybe not even on the 100th try.

I know that it will not sink in on all people. There are some sour souls out there friends, and sometimes they are so sour that there is no changing them.
That does not mean we should not try.

There are so many people that just need their eyes opened, they need to be reminded that even though life has beaten them down, showed them the ugly, and proven that time and time again that bad things happen, that they can still bring good into this world.

They just have to try.

I am not holding my breath for world peace, I will not say my prayers into the universe any longer.

I will however, choose to volunteer when needed. I will still hold food drives, I will participate in walks and runs that are beneficial to organizations I support, I will give donations to organizations I believe in, I will ask other people for donations for events, I will be kind to people who are ornery and mean to me.

I will accept that sometimes this will go to waste. I will understand that not all people have a giving spirit.

I will smile at strangers, strike up random conversations with people who look a little down, I will continue my acts of kindness both planned and random. I will continue to believe it is contagious.

We need to remember that even though a simple act of kindness seems small to us, the ripples it has in the lives of others may be monsoon-sized and inspire the love, change and kindness we desperately need in this world.

I will continue to work hard. Sweat with dedication and hope. Smell with perseverance and positivity.

I will be okay with the fact that some of the thought processes I try to change will not be changed. I am okay with the fact that I may not see the changes I have tried to be in this world within my lifetime. I have made peace that people will mock me and think I am a dumb, stupid, Polly-positive-wannabe, ignorant woman who will never make a difference.

That will just have to be some more fuel to my fire.

I will enjoy the good things in life. I will embrace the happy, beautiful and comforting things not because I am oblivious to suffering, pain and ugly, but because I know there is good that exists in spite of the bad that festers in this world.

I will choose to plant small seeds of kindness on my path in life.

What will you plant today?

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