Every single problem in this world stems from the fact that we humans cannot handle reality.
That's a bold statement, but I stand behind the very fact that our inability to be okay with the reality unfolding around us is at the root of every single thing we call a problem in this world.
Put another way, if every single person on this planet started from a place of accepting reality, the resulting compassion, collaboration, and coexistence would be enough to blanket the entire planet in peace, understanding, and positive reform.
Ironically, and tragically, our discontent with reality often takes us backwards, not forwards.
Sure, there are areas where we progress, times where discontent seems to move the needle forward towards positive reform. However, take a step back and look anywhere in our world. How is "it" working for us? How successful has our approach been? How effective is anger, hate, and division in creating solutions?
Take a look at your own life. How has your approach been working for you? Really ask yourself, has the struggle paid off?
Mine sure as heck hasn't.
If I look at my own life, it's been nothing but a constant struggle with reality. In other words, I've spent so much time, energy, and resources trying to be okay because I didn't like what's going on, and I for-see myself having to do this for the rest of my life if I don't make a change.
More recently, if you know me through this blog, I've been constantly asking myself, is this really the right approach? Is this way of life working?
I'm coming to find out that the answer is no. It's a never-ending game of chasing happiness, chasing the promise of a better day in the future. It's a constant discontent with now.
And let there be no mistake - this way of living is not morally wrong. There's nothing ethically wrong about it, either. It just doesn't work. That's all.
If you were trying to extract water from the ground, a fool might stick a straw in the dirt and try to take a sip. You might spend your whole life sucking the straw, getting lightheaded day after day, searching for the right place. You're working hard. You're struggling. You have hope that one day, you'll drink up some water.
There's nothing morally wrong about this approach. It's just that it doesn't work, plain and simple.
However, if you build a well - hard work indeed - you will one day get water. You may have worked just as hard building the well as you did searching and sipping with your straw, but in this case, your efforts will have paid off.
Now, all this isn't to say that we ought to work hard for well-being in the future. As I've written about many times, well-being is only now.
But, the question is, you're already struggling - would you rather struggle with something that simply doesn't work, or struggle with something that does?
There's no question that there are difficult situations happening everywhere we look on the planet. But there are also stars colliding and galaxies imploding near and far across the universe. Supernovas are occurring all the time, while gases create environments hotter than we could imagine.
We happen to be here experiencing the unfolding of creation as it plays out on this tiny spec of dirt we call Earth in the unimaginably expansive universe. Can we not practice being okay with the fact that there are challenges? Can we not be okay with the fact that there's injustice? Can we not be okay with the fact that there's inequality?
If we start from a place of being okay with something, then we can actually participate in its reform.
Then we can actually step into the situation with what's needed - love and compassion - and make a damn difference that will last. Then we can get to the root of the problem, instead of slapping on short-term fixes.
Trying to fix something through ignorance, hate, and an unwillingness to accept reality is a sure-fire way to cause more harm than good.
This is hard work, but the good news is, you don't have to change anyone else. You only have to work within yourself. Is that a lot to ask? Maybe. But so is trying to fix everything and everyone around you.
Live with substance!