Holy smokes things are out of hand. I can't make it through a single minute of social media before seeing something hateful. Someone's mad at the President. Someone hates Muslims. All liberals are this. All conservatives are that. All lives matter. No lives matter. We can't even seem to be happy for those that are happy. All that anger. Well, it's enough to make a person lose hope. But I can't. Because all that anger, it's just the child of fear. And it's instrumental to remember that all fear comes from a similar place - the threat of a loss or absence of control. Whatever we fear, whether it be terrorism, spiders, a relationship - it can be countered by a sense of control. Of maintaining a sense of "self." But that sense of control is often tempered because we can't control the actions of other people. So I encourage you - YOU - to find an area of control you can influence. Where you can be of help. Motivating ourselves to act in even small ways can give you a sense of purpose, of control, and of hope, all things that are stripped by fear. But where to start?
As humans, we have an innate desire to connect with other people. But the weird thing is, we often only connect through misery. We desire to find an "in" group and thus unite in fighting a common "out" group. In old times, our groups were defined by proximity. We fought together first as tribes, then as states, and then as countries. But in this global world, it is harder and harder to find an area of unity that is stronger than simply "humanity." So we inundate ourselves with these tragedies, we torture ourselves with the news, all to evoke the necessary emotion of empathy - to know as much as we can so we can feel fully united with those people we most likely won't ever meet - so that we can maintain a sense of connection with people we want to care about but lose in the demands of the everyday. So if you're feeling helpless right now. If you find yourself angry, avoid social media and the news for a while. It's amazing how just 2 - 3 days 100% off of social media can change your perspective and give you the glimmer of hope you need to get out of the dark place fear puts you in. Then, weed through all the things to care about and pick one. Pick just one cause, one thing, one purpose in life that you feel passion for, and help that cause. Donate money. Go on a protest. Do a nice thing for someone in the marginalized group. Write a letter to a politician. Or better yet, run for local office. Do SOMETHING. Anything. Because being part of the solution is the only way to let go of that fear, so that what you bring to the world is the one thing it really needs right now. Love.