Since this is my first blog, allow me to introduce myself. My name is…well, that isn’t really important. This blog is not really about me; it’s about the good things I see going on around me.
I was asked recently what I am passionate about, and it was a fun question to reflect on. I have things that I get excited about, but to have that excitement sustained enough to call it a passion-what are those things for me? I like to cook and I like running. Neither of these are a passion, though, because there are times when they feel more like a chore. I really enjoy my job (most days) and get a lot of fulfillment in that. I have to have some amount of passion there to keep my energy up for it, but I would like to think I have something in my personal life that carries that same energy.
Somehow I arrived at this: I am passionate about good things in this world. I don’t see myself as one of those pathologically perky people that you just want to smack, but instead as someone who is overly sensitive to the conflict and arguments taking place. This pushes me to want to find common ground or topics of conversation that bring people together instead of pulling us apart.
Have you ever been on a mission or other service trip and worked with communities that have less than you do? Maybe even lacking things we consider necessities like, for example, indoor plumbing? In those situations, I have been amazed by how they adapted to their environment and had a joy and appreciation for the smallest things. Instead of seeming frustrated with what they didn’t have, they seemed to focus on the good around them. I’ll never forget leaving a village in South America and seeing families sitting outside smiling and waving goodbye, children running alongside our bus smiling and laughing. When we drove back through our neighborhood at home, surrounded by elaborate houses and most of our wants met, people’s facial expressions were flat. No joy, just existence.
I think that joy is about perspective. I am not always a joyful person, but I try to not let the frustrations and stress of my job or life last too long. If I would shift my eyes from myself to the world around me, I would likely see something good around me each day. Not to say that everything around me is good, or that the good makes all the stresses and frustrations go away. But the good is that moment of relief in the stress that can give you a second wind or help redirect your thoughts to better cope with the struggles.
So, through this blog, I want to capture more of the good around me. Each week, I’ll have a picture related to that and will describe the good I see. How do I define “good”? Good question! I see it as those things that touch that inner part of a person in a way that captures your attention, changes your train of thought, or makes you smile. It may be another person or group, something in nature, or just a feeling of love in a moment.
What good have you seen around you this week?