On Gratitude

Hello!  I am back after a very long and lazy Easter weekend, wherein I did absolutely nothing, and it was absolutely amazing.  I didn't even post a Best of the Internet last week.  Why?  Honestly, because I didn't really feel like it.  I like to include links I find funny or inspiring, with the occasional thought-provoker thrown in now and then to keep things interesting and balanced.  But, the last week has brought its share of tragedy, and it seems like I can't log on to the internet without being bombarded with stories of sadness, loss, and terror.  So many terrorist attacks in just one short week--Brussels, Iraq, Pakistan.  It seems like our world has been wrapped up in chaos with no reprieve in sight.  The state of the humanity in 2016 sometimes makes it a bit hard for me to want to laugh at silly articles or talk about pretty things when none of that seems to matter in light of the very real suffering, hardship, and pure hate that exist in the world.  

I see hate everywhere.  In the news of course, with the coverage of terrorist attacks or the ongoing refugee crisis. Even in coverage of the election back home in the U.S.  But I see it more and more in everyday life.  It sometimes feels that people are becoming more and more divided in their ideologies and values.  With these divisions follows an increasingly stark lack of respect for others, especially for those that may have a different background or point of view.  And honestly, it's enough to make anyone depressed from the feeling of pure helplessness that often corresponds with these divisions.

My coping mechanism has mostly been to limit my exposure to news media.  But in everyday life, I have also begun to more actively practice gratitude.  I have all the food I need to eat a good meal: I am grateful for this.  I have a comfortable home to live in with a warm bed: I am grateful for this. I get to enjoy the beautiful sunset in the pictures above on my way home from school: I am grateful for this. With all the negative things that happen in the world, it is so easy to lose focus on the positive things, or to not even see them at all.  When I turn my attention to the positive aspects of everyday life, it makes it much easier to shore myself against the potential for falling into a downward hate spiral. Something that all humans are dangerously prone to if the negativity is left unchecked, and I with my generally misanthropic tendencies need to be particularly aware of.

I know that I am far from the first person to feel this way, and long from the first blogger to write about it.  And perhaps a post like this isn't necessarily the most inspiring, exciting thing to read, but it's what is on my heart today.  Hope you all don't mind. 

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