28 Jul Create the future
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”
– Maya Angelou
I was fortunate to meet Maya Angelou at the University of Virginia back in the 90s. We spoke briefly and she made quite an impression on me. Her care for others and genuine interest in everyone inspired me. Her quote aligns with the characteristic we’ve talked about this month: Create the Future
I’m not going to spend time talking about world events. You are able to read and hear about them from many sources. Instead, I’m going to talk about what lies ahead and how you can shape it; create the future.
There are two choices before all of us.
- The first is the choice to act or not act. To participate in shaping and creating a future or to sit and wait for others to do so.
- The second choice depends on the first. Should you chose to act and create the future, what kind of future do you want to create?
- A better future?
- A not so better future?
Maya is correct, “life does go on.” Tomorrow will come; the future will come. So what actions are you going to take today that will shape the future? Are those actions going to create a better future?
The future is created by your actions or inaction today. Should you chose to create a better future, then the next question is how? I’d recommend starting with those actions that are completely within our control.
How we choose to treat others.
Let’s start with care. Care for others. A smile, a warm greeting, an understanding ear, a decision to assume the best.
Being friendly, generous, and considerate. Treat others as friends. Be generous towards them. Be mindful of others’ feelings, even if they are not mindful of your own.
Assume the best.
When faced with a person or situation that does not make sense or may be upsetting, assume the best. When that person cuts you off on the road, assume that they may be on their way to help another person. That there must be some good reason.
Remember that we all make mistakes. There is no one there to protect you from yourself when you turn on yourself with frustration or anger. Forgive yourself. Learn from mistakes and do better next time. It is okay.
Remember that we all make mistakes. Often our frustration over others’ actions or inaction often comes from our own frustrations over similar situations in the past. Give others another chance. People do change for the better. Believe in them.
Don’t give up.
There are many reasons to give up. You may experience frustration. You may run into others who are full of hate. Don’t let others distract you from the better future you want to create. Don’t give up on the future you want to create. Every person you treat with care and kindness will leave better for it; even those that don’t appear to be.
Look for good.
There is so much good in this world. There are so many amazing people. There is so much beauty. If we make the time to look for good we will notice it is all around. People helping each other everywhere. Love, happiness, laughter – it happens all the time. At stores, on the road, public servants, and more. Partners helping each other. Children helping adults. Co-workers helping each other. People are doing good things all over the place. Look for the good. There are trillions of good things all over the place and they do outnumber the bad things.
Want to encourage others to do good? Thank them when they do. Be grateful for all good things and kindness you experience. Others will leave inspired to continue doing good. It rewards that which we want more of – kindness, good.
Create the future you want to create for yourself and everyone.