Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us
Have you noticed -- and I admit this is a generalization, but I know it's not just my imagination -- that as people get older they tend to get crankier? As a 7-year-old, I never understood why our "senior" neighbor parked herself in her picture window, waiting to pounce on kids cutting through her yard, but I now realize it was that "cranky" thing at work. Somewhere along the way, she'd forgotten how and where to find real joy, and then, I guess, filled that emptiness with something she could feel righteous about: being the boss of her yard against us young, whippersnapper hooligans taking the shortest route to our friends' house on a carefree Saturday morning.
As I grow older, I realize that it takes being carefully observant of my thoughts and comments to avoid taking the path to negativity instead of the path to the much friendlier place of acceptance and tolerance. It drains me on all levels to hear the constant complaints about the younger generation, how much things cost compared to 20 years ago, and the judgmental attitudes about everything from tattoos to Hillary Clinton's thighs. I don't think people realize how toxic and contagious this crankiness can be. As we age, we need to grow into the place that mature people in so many cultures of the world hold. An honored and respected place we have attained through our experience and our willingness to share our wisdom and be more tolerant of that which isn't going to change simply because we're judging it. Instead of grumbling, we need to model kindness and caring, be able to laugh at our mistakes, and refrain from taking ourselves too seriously. If we can steer our hearts, minds, and comments toward a more beautifully expansive place, we will help create fertile ground for the kind of world we all want to live in. What better time of year to put the brakes on grumbling about that which we can't change, and, instead, open our hearts to the good that is all around us.