You know what’s not badass?
Forgetting how awesome our daily life really is.
It’s so easy to see homeless people and get caught up in how awful it must be, how sad that it is this way, whose fault it is, and so on.
You start to feel combinations of fear, guilt, sadness, hopelessness, annoyance, anger –“the world needs to change!”
We project into the future, what we should be doing, what should happen, what might happen – and in the meantime the world seems like a dark place, and nothing productive is happening.
So what’s the best thing one can do about it right in that moment?
You could use it to feel good.
Does that sound messed up? Why?
Why not use it to say: holy crap, I have it so good. I’m so glad I don’t have to wake up in the dirt, in danger. I’m so happy I have a safe home with running water and an awesome bed. I’m so thankful I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to get food – I can just go to the grocery store and buy it! I’m so lucky I have a job, so I can afford everything I need. I’m so lucky I have friends and family that care about me. I’m so lucky I get to have a car and go places so easily!
It’s not so much about being radiant and smiling. It’s about feeling like your eyes have been re-opened. It’s sobering. It’s humbling. It’s pure gratitude.
Suddenly, sitting in traffic is a nice place to be. Suddenly, getting to go into our workplace is a relief. Suddenly the annoying thing that was on our mind earlier isn’t such a big deal. Suddenly it’s not about how bad things are, it’s about how good it actually is.
Why not see other’s misfortune as a way to wake up out of our distracted problem-filled stupor? Why not catch ourselves going about our lives and not appreciating the little things that many people don’t have? What good is it doing anyone to feel bad about a life that is comparatively really good?
It is 100% possible to feel empathy towards others, and at the same time feel joy for what you have. It is not selfish.
What is selfish, is seeing others in unfortunate circumstance and not using it as a reminder to wake us up and appreciate how much luxury we have in our everyday life.
It’s not arrogant to appreciate how good we have it. It’s humbling to see that we already have so much abundance. It’s humbling to see that our lives already have so much good.
It doesn’t mean you’ll stop trying.
When you feel good, you want to do more good. You treat people better. You show up as a better person. You actually do things that benefit the world.
It doesn’t have to come from feeling bad.