See the Good

01/00/1998. File pictures of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was a man of wisdom and inspiration; his name is virtually synonymous with peaceful revolution. Even today, there is much that we can learn from the lessons of change that he provided. Others on the blog today have also talked about ways that we can accomplish positive change within ourselves, and I encourage you to read their inspiring words as well. Today, I want to talk about the change that I want to bring about in my own daily life.

I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.–Gandhi

I want to be the type of person that sees the good in people. We live in a world that is so separated into an “us” and “them” mentality. We emphasize the ways that someone is different from ourselves so that it is easier to blame, put down, or hate them. Our energy is devoted to finding flaws rather than seeing the good.

I’m not saying that no one ever does anything bad–it’s impossible to truly believe that when you are learning about the genocides that have and continue to happen in the world. What I am saying is that it is possible to change your focus when interacting with the around you. There is always something positive that you can focus on in anybody.

And focusing on the positive is beneficial:

  1. It makes your life more pleasant and positive.
  2. It makes it easier to find the drive to make a positive change in the world.
  3. It makes other people’s lives more pleasant and positive.
  4. It can create an upward spiral of happiness that strengthens relationships.
  5. The strong relationships you create make you even more influential to generate more positive change.

Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.–Gandhi

So, my personal goal for the next couple weeks (and my challenge to anyone reading) is to focus on the positive for everyone I interact with. Some people will make it easy; I won’t have any trouble identifying what I like about my friends. It might take more conscious effort for others–there are those for whom I’ve already spent time focusing on the negative, and I will need to overcome this. We all want a better world to live in for ourselves and our loved ones, and one small change we can make in our daily lives is to see the good in others.

–R. Chase Dunn

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