Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia
Have you found yourself recently needing to use strategies to help soothe yourself in the chaos that surrounds us? You may be getting in touch with your creative side by crafting, cooking, painting. Taking a daily walk in your neighborhood to relieve the stress may be your go to rather than filling your head with the newest media crisis to befall our nation. Perhaps, you may be taking a keen interest in keeping your home spotlessly clean and your husband has all of his laundry ironed and hung neatly color coded on his side of the closet. Trust me, I have been trying all of these strategies recently as the media continues to bombard us with the latest political scandal, terrorist attack, police officer killing and hashtag group taking it to the streets. Of recent, I have found myself filling my thoughts with the writings of Leo Buscaglia, a great educator, author and soul of the twentieth century. I remember first seeing Dr Buscaglia on Public Broadcast System television back in the 1970’s when I was a high school student living in a small town in Ohio. He struck me with his wisdom and desire to help those listening to him find their way to love, life, and kindness. His stories of growing up with an Italian mama and larger than life family were interspersed with his thoughts on how we can reach our fullest potential by becoming who we truly are rather than whom others think we should be. And always, he came back to love and touching, reaching out to others with hugs of true affection. Watching his televised talks back then were truly magical, making me want to grow up to be just like Leo. A person, not afraid but strong, not artificial but genuine, not cruel but kind and loving.
Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong. Leo Buscaglia
Now, all these years later, we find ourselves in a new global community. One where nothing is hidden; no distance from the poor choices and violence of those filled with evil and weakness. It no longer feels as if the cruel are weak, but rather that evil is stronger than goodness. Suddenly, we are forced to really search out what is right, what is fair, what is beautiful. We must remind ourselves, daily-sometimes moment to moment, that this evil is an illusion. Truth and love and kindness are actually all around us.
We are no longer puppets being manipulated by outside powerful forces: we become the powerful force ourselves. Leo Buscaglia
We must come to look at this ever changing world we find ourselves living in with a quiet mind and a new sight. As those of the generation before me would say, “It’s time to put on our rose colored glasses.” This idiom means we must consciously look at the world around us not through the lens of what evil is befalling, but, rather, we look with a view of what beauty is surrounding us as everything around us suddenly comes alive with the possibility of life. It is as if we suddenly are seeing life for the first time. Nothing becomes insignificant. Everything holds beauty and possibility. The drinking in of this beauty, the magenta flower tipping towards the sun, the birdsong as morning is breaking outside our bedroom window, the tall pines with sunlight dappling through their branches, the momma holding her young babe, the love filled greeting our pooch gives us as we walk through the door, will become a healing balm to our stressed and broken souls.
I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. Leo Buscaglia
How do we develop this sight for beauty over angst? It is a learned phenomenon which is available to anyone. It is never to late to learn to focus on the good, the kind, the loving.It takes patience with oneself to learn a new focus of our attention to calm ourselves. One simply must determine to make a choice for good over evil. We must decide to create the life we want which is emboldened and filled with all the goodness God wants to bestow on us. Being open to experiences and peoples that are different than what we may have known in the past is crucial. Breaking down separation and division and reaching out in love to share this beautiful world with all. For perfect love drives out fear (1John 4:18). The choice is for each of us to make. A life full of stress in which we live at the media’s whim of all that there is to fear in this world? A life filled with the beauty that surrounds each of us every day if only we see it with a calm mind and clear vision?
Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lies man’s only promise. Leo Buscaglia
Wishing you at this time to live with true sight to see the beauty and love that surrounds each of you.
May you find gratitude and peace in every moment.