I was surfing the news this morning when I came to a startling realization: that there is war and conflict in every continent of the world. From minor political conflicts within nations to cross border conflicts among nations graduating to full blown wars both within local borders and international ones, as if that was not enough the news of West Africa battling with Ebola viral Disease is on , the disease has killed more than 10,000 human beings and still counting though it appears to be under control. The terror attacks by Islamic ideologues against innocent civilians are on the rise, young men and women travelling to Syria to apply for the position of “suicide bombers” so they can kill others for their belief are on the increase. Economic conflicts here and there, the European Union and Greece trying to out negotiate each other, citizens in Spain staging anti-austerity rallies. The list goes on and on and it made me wonder: is there still beauty in this world?
The focus on negative news in our world today has made us lose sight of the beauty that still is in the world. The Liberian nursing student who alone nursed 3 family members who had Ebola viral disease to health, the mother that gave birth naturally to a 14 pound baby in Florida, USA, the man in Dubai who was morbidly obese, diabetic and had heart problems who changed his lifestyle and increased his exercise and in 3 months has lost so much weight that his heart has started functioning normally and his blood sugar is on an all time low with minimal medication. We do not see the journalist in America who lost his arm to acute compartment syndrome tell his story of denial , despair and eventual recovery from the loss and his actively conscious effort to focus on the good and live one day at a time.
It was the Chinese philosopher Confucius that said that “everything has beauty but not everyone sees it”. We have to learn to see the beauty in our lives, our environments and then the world. Don’t for a second think you can blank out the negative news, you can instead choose not to focus on them.
This applies more to our personal lives, some mornings we wake up to the realization that a lot of things are not working in our lives as they ought to. I don’t have my preferred job, I am not promoted as I should, I have been married for a number of years and no child yet. My company is recording monthly losses and it looks like I may have to declare bankruptcy soon. It seems that at that moment that you woke up, your entire challenges and difficulties gate crashed into your consciousness and so you think, “My life is a mess, nothing is working”.
It is very instructive to know that nobody’s life is free of challenges or difficulties of one sort or the other. The one worried about job promotion should remember there are those who don’t have jobs, the one worried about not having a child yet should remember that there are some who want to be married and cannot. No matter at what level of life we are, we are always better than somebody. This does not imply we should be complacent in our life’s pursuits rather it should give us the latitude to judge well where we are and where we are coming from; laying a lot of emphasis on what is working for us now.
Your challenges don’t go away, there are solved eventually. The solution most times do not come from an obsession with them to the detriment of all others rather it is easier to find solutions to difficult problems in the silent reminiscing of the good that has befallen us. For him who is gifted sees inspiration in all things but the one who labors to attain the level of “gifted” seeks for inspiration in all things.
“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them”
Can you find beauty in yourself and in the life around you? We have become such a noisy society that we don’t even have time again to think and reflect on the nuances of life, our life has by our own design become more outward looking than inward looking. So we see the successes of others and not the challenging journey that brought them there, we can give up anything for fame which for a lot of young people gets peer group validation. We idolize celebrities but don’t learn from their lives, all because we don’t stop to think. In this age, we have access to so much information that it is immensely hard to determine what is important and what is not. The millenials as this generation is known by, focus so much on what is on the outside than on what is on the inside.
Well this is the time for us to stop and find the beauty on our insides so that we can teach the world that beauty beyond compare still exists in this world because we have found exceeding beauty in ourselves.