Life is an Evolutionary Project
Life keeps changing. Every day, every hour, every minute. Some changes are infinitesimal. You don’t notice until a bunch of changes merge into a larger one, and for some reason, you’re surprised. You’ve been so busy chasing all the things you need to do, or at least think you do, you miss the small stuff. Yet, when all is said and done, it’s all small stuff piling one on top of the other until it only seems like big stuff.
Priorities change. You grow up, go off on your own, and think you’re making your own rules. But you punch a time clock, buy stuff because marketers know how to play on your baser instincts, believe some of what you hear and read, and disbelieve the rest; not because you’ve researched every single piece of information that floods your brain, but because your own experiences and ideology toss a lot of it out because it doesn’t feel right.
Besides, there’s no way you could possibly research everything. You have to trust your gut to some degree, right? The trouble is, what too many listen to isn’t their own gut, but that of people we think we can trust; parents, friends, bosses, and sometimes even politicians. You have no legitimate reason for trusting them other than it’s what you’ve been convinced, or taught to believe.
Living a Rebel’s Life
Some think they’ve broken free of the influence of others, but in some way, they’re under the influence, whether they see it or not. Cognitive dissonance makes it difficult to follow new paths because you often revert to old ways and beliefs when you feel uncomfortable. It takes a strong will to allow those periods of discomfort in order to forge new paths. Those who manage it are often called innovators or influencers.
If you ask me, everyone has the potential to be an innovator or influencer, or better still, a visionary. It simply involves allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable for awhile until your mind and body adjust to a different set of parameters. You also have to be willing to suffer disapproval and even abuse from those you grew up trusting and believing. It can be a lonely road while you’re proving your own hypotheses.
Perhaps that’s why a lot of innovators either learn, or have a propensity towards being alone. Taking yourself out from under the umbrella of consensus allows a more open-minded, less distracted path towards new, and potentially unpopular views. Every great invention had someone who insisted it would never work; that what already existed was perfectly fine and didn’t need improving. Detaching from the nay-sayers might be difficult and lonely, but history shows it gets things done.
Outside Influences Produce Visionaries
It hasn’t been all that long since we evolved from horse-drawn carriages to gas and electric cars, airplanes, and rockets. Although still in use, snail mail and telegraphs are being left in the dust of telephones, email, and instant messaging. In both cases, and many others as well, innovations continue, while travel, communication, and a wealth of other industries continue to evolve, all in the name of speed and instant gratification.
While a global pandemic may have forced Humanity to slow down, at least in a physical sense, it’s increased our dependence on electronic communication, and for many, caused frustration when response time wasn’t fast enough, or connection was unstable. Many are struggling with having too much time in their own company. They’ve accepted a life of constant distractions for so long, they don’t really know themselves at all, and the prospect of sitting alone with a virtual stranger is daunting at best.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve enjoyed my own company for years, though even I’m not used to this much solitude. I’ll admit I’ve become more dependent on my cell phone, Zoom, and Facebook to get a little more of what passes for human contact these days. I’ve watched more Hallmark and Lifetime movies this year than ever before, even investing in Frndly.tv so I have more movies and channels to choose from.
Learning to Appreciate Your Own Company
I’ve learned there’s truly no replacement for the physical proximity of other humans. One happy result has been the kindness and patience of others during the holiday season. In previous years, the stress and strain of juggling work, home, and family was reflected in the impatience and rudeness of people in stores. This year showed how desperate people were for human contact by making their attitude improve with a trip to the market, Costco, or anywhere else they could interact with actual humans face-to-face albeit masked and behind a plexiglass barrier.
I’m hoping the enforced isolation and resultant appreciation for fellow humans is something that will last once restrictions are lifted, and life returns to something resembling normal. I know people will appreciate time spent with friends and family with no restrictions on physical contact. But will they continue to appreciate the grocery clerks, waitresses, and others who they cling to like lifelines in their limited contact with humans? Or will they go back to treating them like pieces of furniture?
I’ll never forget the day a checker at Von’s complained that many people treated him like he wasn’t even there, though he tried hard to be friendly to each customer. It hit me hard, and though I sometimes falter, made me more aware of the people who are holding the fort day in and day out so I can keep my pantry stocked, and maintain my personal hygiene.
Appreciation Learned From Solitude
Granted, I’ve resorted to ordering more and more online, and utilizing self-checkout in many stores right now, so interaction is limited to the stores that offer neither, or where I have to go in and show ID to get certain items. But when I do go through a checkout line, or ask for help locating an item, I make a point of acknowledging the person by name. Sure, it’s a small thing, but no act of kindness or respect is wasted.
Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves. Many still believe it depends on the approval of others. The least anyone can do is to let others know they’re appreciated, and that they matter. If I’m here for no other reason or purpose, I think it’s to spread that belief around generously. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone got involved in my little passion project until no one on earth felt alone or ignored?
I’m grateful for all the people who’ve shown me by example how easy it is to give that gift to the people you meet. Let’s face it. When someone is kind to you, you’re more likely to be kind to the next person than if they’d made you feel small and insignificant.
My meaning of life has evolved over the years, but now, it’s to feed the entire organism; Humanity, the Earth, every creature, rock, tree, and bush with love, appreciation, and encouragement.
Using Gratitude to Find Peace
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful I’ve learned to appreciate more and to find goodness in everyone (or almost everyone. I’m still working to find it in those who’ve buried it deep!).
- I’m grateful for opportunities to spread kindness, and for the people who’ve taught me how.
- I’m grateful for a kinder, gentler, more loving Humanity.
- I’m grateful for constant lessons in forgiveness and acceptance. Repetition is our greatest teacher.
- I’m grateful for abundance; love, kindness, gratitude, humility, community, friendship, joy, peace, harmony, health, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.
If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward