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The moment when I realised that I was unconsciously contributing to the suffering in the world

By Nina Steele 

Have you caught yourself expecting bad news whenever you turn on the TV? I have! Until recently, it never occurred to me that this behaviour could be contributing to the suffering in the world. Like most people, I hope that I will live long enough to see a world free from wars and poverty. At the same time, I have become so used to reading and being fed bad news that I have come to see it as the norm.

They say that bad news sells and I have come to believe it, without even realising that the only reason why this is the case is because I have passively decided that I was going to accept it as a fact. Someone recently said that people complain about society as if it is of someone else’s making and I could not agree more. Who is society? Society is you and I and so we are all partly responsible for how it turns out. To want a better world, yet anticipate bad news, inevitably creates the type of world we currently live in.

The energy that we vibrate is so powerful that if left unchecked, it can create havoc not only for our self but also for those around us. And so the realisation that my behaviour was contributing to perpetuating the very type of world that most of us have come to reject, forced me to change.

There are many examples of us wanting one thing yet failing by our own actions to make our wish come true. A good example of that can be found in a book on overpopulation that I am currently reading. Dave Foreman is the author and the title of the book is ‘Man Swarm’. In the book, the author recounts a story in the New York Times about the hunger facing a tribe in the Amazon. The story goes like this: some time in the past, the tribe had plenty of fish and wild animals to live on and now that supply is no longer, leading to hunger. The reporter goes on to say that the head of the tribe is worried about how he is going to feed his 24 children! Yes you heard it! It seems that both the chief and the reporter failed to realise that the hunger is the direct result of the chief having 24 children. Cause and effect!

That brings me back to what was said previously, namely that society is a reflection of all of us. The chief failed to realise that having too many children was inevitably going to impact on the food supply and the reporter was more preoccupied with selling the story of a suffering tribe and so failed to raise the real issue. Chances are that, the chief will go on to have more children, thus making the problem worse.

There is no doubt in my mind that the world as we see it, is a reflection of all of us. We make noises about how dreadful things are, yet we continue with our lives as before, expecting that issues will sort themselves out. Yes things may get better down the line but it will only happen if we all start contributing to it.

I know that the expression ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ has been used so many times that even I sometimes roll my eyes when I see it quoted online or in print, but the truth in that quote is what makes it so powerful and so fitting for the struggles that we all face today.

There is no use complaining about how bad things are if we ourselves are reluctant to make the necessary changes in our lives in order to improve the situation. Since I realised that by expecting bad news I was likely going to get it, I stopped. Yes it is true that we are so used to associating the news with negativity that it will take a while for most people to start thinking differently, but just acknowledging this fact is already a step in the right direction.

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