The greatest discovery of this generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude. William JamesAttitude. We've all got it. We all project it. And sometimes, it gets in our way.
Who hasn't heard the question, Is your cup half full or half empty? George Carlin once replied when asked if he saw a half empty or half full cup, "I see a glass twice as big as it needs to be."
It's all in our attitude.
But where does attitude come from? And what do we do when it needs an adjustment?
When I was with Conrad, (see The Dandelion Spirit), he used to tell me that one of my problems (and he had many for me) was that I didn't believe in evil. Didn't believe people were capable of 'being bad'.
Now, I will attest to the fact that I believe 99% of human beings are fundamentally good. At our core lives the essence of brilliance that creates our most magnificent selves. I believe the journey through childhood into maturity is about reclaiming that magnificence with which we were born. And I believe, if given the opportunity, we would all rather do good than harm.
In Conrad's perspective, all people were born to be bad. In challenging me on my belief in the fundamental goodness of the human being, he set out to prove I was wrong. In my disbelief, in my refusal to face reality, that there are some people in this world who live in the shadow, in the dark side of human being, I was at risk of Conrad's manipulations. Because I refused to accept some people are evil, I could not accept he was doing evil.
In my awakening, I was given the gift of sight. Yes. There is evil in this world and people willing and capable of furthering it. With eyes wide open, I was able to step into the truth of what happened to me, of what I did, of what he did. I was able to face reality, forgive him and love myself, warts and all.
I work in a world where evil is perpetrated on vulnerable people every day. I work in a world where people have lost their inner light. Untethered from the mores and values of a just and caring society, they wander the streets, aimless and directionless, without a moral compass to guide them home. Huddled beneath the shadow of towering skyscrapers and back alleys, they encounter evil every day and become their worst fears; a fallen human being willing to do anything to stay alive, including abusing drugs, alcohol and each other, in order to numb the pain of their existence.
In their crumbled state, their attitude of defeat gets in their way of finding the light to guide them home, back to where they belong.
Stuck in the shadows, they begin to believe, the world is against me. There is no hope. I am worthless.
And in their belief; this is all I'm worth, they buy into the myth that we live in a world of evil. Everybody's doing it. Why not me?
Everybody is not evil. This is not an evil world. Evil does exist -- call it badness, narcissism, psychopathy, self-centeredness, cruelty. Whatever you call it, it is behaviour fostered by an attitude of entitlement that leads people to do evil.
Was Conrad evil? I believe he has a 'bad attitude' fostered by a perspective of life that says, what 'I want is what I deserve. Getting it is all that counts. And I will do anything to get what I want, regardless of the consequences to anyone else'.
I believe there are many people in this world who share that bad attitude. People for whom what they want is all that counts, to hell with the consequences, to hell with the impact upon other people, upon our world.
I can't change anyone else's attitude. I can adjust mine. In a time where the world appears to be spinning out of control, where markets tumble and fortunes crumble, I take a breath and remind myself -- I can't stop the world. Can't change it. I can change my attitude to make a difference in my world today. I can be the light I am seeking.
Life is an adventure worth living. It is a constant journey into peace, love and joy that moves me closer to my brilliant core, my life force that says, "I am one magnificent human being, being all I'm meant to be by making a difference in a world of abundance."
The question is: What's your attitude? Where's it taking you?