Thanks to Fr. Tom Hayes for this beautifully captured image of light through the trees.
Spring has come and gone and summer has arrived, though the rainfall in my area of North Cork might suggest otherwise. However despite the rain, the swallows have returned and are busily building their nests on my front porch. The apple blossoms have faded and the tiny new fruit have formed on the trees – yes – nature says its’s summer!
I’ve been intrigued by the number of people over the past few weeks who have by way of comment on the abundant rainfall said things such as “ It’s a dreadful day” or “terrible day, isn’t it”. These comments put me pondering on all the things we give the power over to that make our day a “terrible day”. The weather, other people, technoology, traffic and so on.
Most people see the world as a threatening place,
and because they do,
the world turns out
indeed to be a threatening place
– Paulo Coelho –
Chanie Gorkin, a 17-year-old about to enter the 12th grade at the Lubavitch high school Brooklyn, wrote this poem entitled “Worst Day Ever?” for an assignment at school.
Worst Day Ever?
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day
“I don’t think there is such a thing as the worst day ever,” Chanie said in an interview after the poem went viral. “I wanted to show how your day is really based on how you look at things.” Blaming external factors means we don’t have to take any responsibility for the kind of day we create or experience.
NOW read the poem again, this time from bottom to top!
Chanie challenges us to move from our fixed mindsets and limited, restricted thinking to seeing, processing and explaining things in more than one way. The creativity, freedom and joy it required to craft this poem is in all of us. It is not always immediately evident and we often don’t search for it.
What if you focused more on being conscious of the positive presence of creativity in your day and less on what limits you? Being aware of your ‘response–ability’ (our ability to respond) in a vast range of ways to the same situation. Being aware of the choices available to you and making choices that serve you and other well.
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
– Mahatma Gandhi –
Everyday can be a good day if we free ourselves to be creative, open and free to embrace the choices life offers. What new thinking an actions do you need to consider in order to for you to be able to say that today is a very good day?