War, terrorism, climate change, racial tension – news headlines and Facebook posts can make us feel that the world is coming to an end or that it’s a brutal and unfair place in the universe. Our world faces many challenges, but how real are the disasters that are promoted to us daily? What’s the complete picture? Are these issues and fears being created or distorted in order to control us? To keep us distracted from other issues that more directly impact our lives and freedom. Or just to keep us watching, buying and consuming?
And if the world is in such trouble, why do we still see many signs of progress, prosperity, love and unity in our daily lives? Does the fear and sensational reporting match our actual experience? It does if you choose to believe the fearful and helpless view created by news media, government, and many organizations and groups. We can easily be swept up in the disaster hysteria if we don’t balance it with the positive reality.
There are many signs of positive progress and we need to take a moment to acknowledge them when we see them. It could be a friend, neighbor or family member starting a new habit for their health. Or saying or doing something that shows personal growth, maturity, or awareness. Other people’s successes are also signs of progress, not something to be envied or disregarded. Someone being successful in their career or running their own business is a sign of progress, even if you are not yet enjoying the same type of success. Or it could be a positive change we see in ourselves, no matter how small. It’s important to acknowledge and think about these things for a moment.
Instead of being held hostage by reports of the apocalypse, focus on signs of progress, growth, and unity. The more we focus on the positive things we want in our community and world, the more we will have them.
Here is a list of signs for 2016. You decide if you want a negative or positive view of the new year.
• Facebook zombies. We see how technology can create addiction and isolation, but tech also helps connect us and make it easier to share and communicate with family and friends. Vision Hispana recently reported on Latinas Think Big (latinasthinkbig.com), which uses social media to create a supportive business environment for Latinos.
• Religious extremism. With reports of extreme religious and terrorist groups, we shouldn’t forget the growing spiritual awareness of recent years, especially here in the Bay Area. People are becoming more self-aware and talking and thinking about consciousness.
• Poor health epidemic. Obesity, diabetes and other conditions are far too common, yet there is also a growing focus and desire for natural health, natural living, and local food. Organic food stores are more common and a growing number of people are making smart food choices.
• Integrative health. Conventional medicine often fails to take advantage of natural health options, but Vision Hispana recently reported on a revolutionary program between UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and the East Bay Regional Park District. Hospital patients and their families are regularly taken to local parks to enjoy all of the physical and emotional benefits of being outdoors in nature.
• Reports of inequality and racial barriers are everywhere, but successful Hispanics featured in Vision Hispana all say the key is desire and hard work. Many Hispanics in the East Bay, including many immigrants, have created their own opportunities and enjoy great success despite any challenge.
• More hugs. Friends and family hug each other a lot more than just 10 or 20 years ago. We are now a hugging culture, which is a great sign of progress!
• Any positive thought you have today represents your inner belief and human desire for growth and a better life. Follow that thought, believe it and take action to make it a reality.