Is the world getting meaner?

With the Populist movement spreading across Europe and America, it seems the world is getting meaner. But in my daily interactions with people, not really. If we remember to treat those around us with love and respect, we can avoid the anger that brews from watching too much TV and spending too much time on the Internet. Yes, we have an imperfect world. People are suffering, but people are overcoming the worst every day. Right now, I've been making calls for that aunt who isn't doing so well. Maybe help is on the way. I hope so. I hope we find her the care she needs, but she is stubborn and it is hard. She's chosen a path of isolation, thinking that she would be a burden on others. I see now that some people give up on this life, finding it too challenging. I keep remembering Bourdain. But I also try to be remind those around me to see that the simple things can keep life joyful.

It isn't about how much money one has, as I've said before. Joy can be made from the smallest things in life. Yes, if we consume the media, we think, "I need that car, I need that house, I need that cash flowing, I need that high life, I need this, I need that..." What I try to teach those around me that joy can come from simple things. A swept floor. A bed. A camera. A friend. A pen. A paintbrush. Lotion. Glasses. If you look around your space, you can find joy in the things you use and sometimes take for granted. Yes, I wish I had that cash flowing a little better. Everybody wishes that. But my reality says, find joy in the thrift store, find joy in paying monthly bills that keep the home functioning. Maybe not joy, but maybe contentment that I can keep things functioning. I give thanks for the resources that make it happen. I know some people can't even say that. They don't know where the money for the light bill is going to come from. When that happens, I've always gone on faith that yes, God will provide a way. He does. But my gift back to God is do my best to be kind to others. I can't always come up with a magical solution to ease the suffering of those around me, but I can listen. I can smile. I can hug. I can share. I can teach. And I can empathize. The little things I can do is the best I can do. I can't do everything, but I can try to be kind. 

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