In my August 2nd essay on Substack, I drew on the well-known passage on commitment written by W. H. Murray to ask: “What if we committed to being and acting from the conviction that society as we know it could definitely change for the better for most people and life on the planet?”
How do I live this commitment? First thing I notice is that I should talk much less, because I am often talking about what is wrong. You know the usual complaining yet searching conversation. Yes, the world is changing at dizzying speed, and people are messed up, and what can we do. What can we do? This is a passive voice looking for confirmation that it is all too hopeless to try. I must stop these conversations.
I caught myself last week when returning some items at Walmart. The representative helping me shared that the staff at the doors put stickers on return items, because people come into the store, get new items and take them to the return desk to get a refund or store credit. This started the downward conversation talking about the mass store robberies in Southern California and how things are so bad.
However, I stopped to say that most people are good. She was not convinced. But I said: “You are a good person. I am a good person.” She nodded slightly. Then we smiled as two wise older women might and agreed we are alive and healthy and life is good; so, we are grateful. It was a good ending.
The Universe then tested my resolve further by giving my car a breakdown – better the car than me, right? The car has had a mysterious issue in shifting gears for two months. Last week something broke. Long story short – I found a repair shop to fix the broken parts, but the mysterious issue remains so I need an expert.
The dealership and service shops with experts could not take the car for at least a week; in one case two weeks. The very nice people in the shops were apologetic and frazzled. They were overwhelmed with work and kept saying the world has gone crazy.
Nope; not going down that road. I am old enough with wonderful life experiences to know that I will get through this mire of details, delays and expense. Yep, this experience is a drag. It is complicated by economic and social forces that make it harder for workers to be productive, result in worker shortages, and make everything more costly.
At a recent chamber of commerce meeting, a panel of four businesses explained how the supply chain limitations of 2021/22 required them to think differently. A representative from the car dealership that services my car was on the panel. He shared that the crisis made them redesign how they did business and now they operate more efficiently. The other businesses shared similar successes as a result of dealing with limitations.
Living the commitment to better solutions showing up, the local repair shops will figure out how to address the current overwhelm. A healthy market will encourage more shops to open. Providence will move them forward as they hold to knowing the situation will improve. To finish the car story, I have appointments with three stations over the next two weeks, and one will solve the shifting issue.
As a society, we are in a significant transition phase. It can go to the good or farther downhill. We decide. When we commit to changes happening for the better for more people, we find ways forward that are practical and useful. In my case with the car, I shifted my schedule to limit driving until I get the car to service. I work from home; have more time to write and walk; and friends help me out.
Incorporating the commitment to positive, productive changes has also highlighted my personal tendency to control how things get done. If I assume and stay stuck in expecting one solution, I will see only one solution. Paraphrasing the Murray passage, I will miss all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance in my favor, which I could not have dreamed would come my way.
Controlling a situation by seeing only one right way to do something is limited and based on a negative perception of what is possible in the material world. More often than not, Providence shows me how easily the systems can work and provides a better solution. This unforeseen solution is a gift. It shows me how stuck I was, and if I choose, I can become more aware in every intention and choice. Expectations become more positive which begins an upward spiral.
Bottom line, we have to start with ourselves. My friend, Terry Cole-Whittaker shares some great spiritual advice in her post: Let’s Take Over the World – Each One’s Own. As I seek clarity to move the world forward in positive ways, I’m always brought full circle back to healing myself and being connected to my Something Greater as a partner.
Consider how amazing society will be if we all take our desires for a better world and apply them right here and now to ourselves and the world we impact directly. For me, it’s the only game worth playing. What do you think?
When I get discouraged, I remember watching a young father playing with his two boys, maybe five and three years old, in the courtyard of an apartment complex. It was a silly game wherein the boys would stand 20 feet from their father and scream, “Pick a number. Pick a number.” The father would say a number and the boys would advance those number of steps until they were directly in front of him. Then he would chase them until he caught them. The boys laughed so much, and they did this over and over for at least 30 minutes.
I was so taken by the father’s patience and his loving approach to chasing, catching and holding the boys. So simple and so grand. He will take care of his boys and create a world for them to the best of his ability. This is who we are as human beings with beautiful spirits connected to Life. This is truth whether we live one material life or hundreds of reincarnations or die and go to a Heaven. The human spirit rocks. So, let’s commit to letting it lead us to our own better world. It will expand.