Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom - Too Much Junk in Your Life?


"When you live surrounded by clutter, it is impossible to have clarity about what you are doing in your life."
Karen Kingston  


I have found that Karen Kingston's comment above is true, not just as it applies to physical clutter, but also to what I read or listen to. Case in point:
Up until yesterday, I had two "friends" on Facebook who are polar opposites on the political spectrum. They are completely tuned in to the cable news outlets, and their dramatic reactions to each new headline are highly entertaining and perfectly predictable.
Each is absolutely certain of the correctness of his or her position, and each is quick to respond to the slings and arrows from across the aisle. Each is highly offended at the absurdity of the other side's viewpoints. Each argues that everything that is wrong with the world is the fault of the other camp.
I had determined many times in the past to block them, wanting to reduce the "noise" in my life. But then I would weaken and not do it, telling myself, "they help me keep my finger on the pulse of today's political climate."
But yesterday I woke up with a new resolve to get rid of more clutter in my life. It started with my bookshelves, where I threw out a dozen travel guides to places I have been and will never go back to. It continued in my closet, where I donated "extra" shirts and slacks that I never seem to get around to wearing. It went further as my digitization/scanning project continues to eliminate paper files.
Then I really got serious. I unfriended my aforementioned "friends." I came to the conclusion that constant venom like theirs is unhealthy, even if amusing and even if I might agree with some of it some of the time.
From now on, I want to spend my Facebook time with thoughtful, caring people, rather than angry people. I want to catch up on family news, meaningful milestones, and well-reasoned analysis. I want to be uplifted and in turn, I want to be uplifting.
To do that, I've established new guidelines for myself, whenever I'm thinking about speaking my mind on social media. If you're inclined to opine on current events and don't want to get black-listed, you too may want to consider these ideas:
  • Try taking a walk before telling your foes to take a hike.
  • Try giving them the benefit of the doubt before giving them a piece of your mind.
  • Try sleeping on it before pouncing on it.
  • Try toning it down rather than ratcheting it up.
  • Try building others up rather than tearing them down.

You may discover, as I have, that your persuasiveness increases when you lower your voice and think through your ideas before lashing out. You may catch others off-guard with a positive, common-sensical message rather than an angry one.

The essence of a joyful, abundant life is distinguishing between what truly matters and what doesn't; then getting rid of the junk and filling that space with sweet, kind, beautiful, loving, and eternal things. Sometimes I need to remind myself of this and act accordingly, including on Facebook.

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