Fair warning: this post got a little preachy I’m afraid.
It isn’t your job to save the world.
It isn’t even your duty to right the wrongs you see at a granular level. Not primarily, anyway.
Your first job is to become the fullest version of yourself.
What are your deepest longings, and are you pursuing them? Is your curiosity being satisfied? Creative longings quelled? Is your outer life reflecting the inner world?
Are you living your truth?
If no, consider getting your head out of the news and other people’s business.
Your own life needs your attention.
Where charity begins
Charity begins at home. So be charitable to yourself.
Love yourself, and treat your body with respect. Forgive yourself, and do anything else you need to do in order to be in a high functioning, positive state.
Don’t be self-absorbed. Self-absorption makes you small and neurotic – and small and neurotic people are dangerous!
Be healthily self-centered, rather than self-preoccupied. Act with considerate self-interest. If you’re psychologically healthy, and you haven’t suffered a lot in life, then doing what makes you feel good will probably benefit everybody else.
Do not actively harm the physical environment around you – that goes without saying. Aim to be a benign-or-better influence on your environment, until you have tidied your own house. And by house, I mean your own thinking and actions. Then go save the world, if that is what you desire.
Just start with you. That’s all I’m saying.
Facebook loves your righteousness, your commenting, and your trolling, because it keeps it in business.
I can’t even look at it. All I see is big people distracting themselves under the pretense of doing good.
Stop deferring your life
This isn’t a dress rehearsal. Life isn’t, I mean.
How long have you been saying “I’ll do that later”. Later is running out.
Avoid the synthetic hits of meaning, and the dopamine shots from technology misuse. Instead, steer yourself towards the truer sources of joy and meaning. Look to your connections with people, the things you’re good at and you get lost in.
Stay attuned to your mission, if you happen to know what it is. If you don’t, then find out. (I recommend having a “sort of” mission; one that is open to redefinition).
Don’t let the wrong pursuits, the wrong people rob you of energy. Don’t do that to yourself, as you are probably your own worst enemy on that front.
Reclaim your psychological real estate. Spend some time thinking about current affairs, if that’s in service of critical thinking. Just don’t go spending it all there.
Unless you work in politics and have influence there, your time is better spent where you have genuine influence: in your own community.
Look around you if you want to make a difference to someone.
I guarantee you will not need to look far.
Save yourself (nobody else is going to)
If you’re unhappy, then figure out why and do something about it. Don’t just put up with it, as that means we will all have to.
There is no excuse not to find work you like, or to organise your work so that it plays to your strengths.
And there is no reason to stay unhealthy; you have the resources you need.
If you’re overweight, don’t outsource the work of losing it to some diet, or personal trainer. Figure out why you use food the way you do, and then change it.
If it’s hard, then stick with it. Dig your heels in. Focus on the little ways that what you are doing now is enjoyable, as well as the better future that awaits you.
Stop deferring the pain of growth. That pain is your life.
If you’re a little bit broken, then chill out because we all are. Make your cracks into something beautiful.
If you’re lonely, then focus on being good company for others.
If you’re (not too) depressed, then try focus on making those around you happy. It’ll help.
Do what you can to keep your perspective level headed. It’ll never be completely unbiased, but you can get it pretty close if you’re willing to doubt your judgments every now and again. Stay humble.
Stop blaming all of the following: parents, ex boyfriends, parents, ex wives, parents, your employer, your local councilor, your lawyer.
In short, save yourself.
Nobody else is going to.