On Monday, Canadian politician Jack Layton passed away and his political party shared his last letter to Canadians. Many people shared that message via Facebook and Twitter. In particular what they quoted was the end of the letter "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world".
Whether you agreed with Jack's politics or not, that series of sentences is a very powerful message and is worthy of not just discussion, but action. If you posted it somewhere or commented on it, you obviously agree that it is important. My question to you is 'how are you going to embody that message in your life?' If you truly believe that message and if you felt strongly enough to post it, or you just nodded when you read it; then I am calling you to action. Live those words starting now. If you happen to have been a fan of Jack's - what better tribute could you make to him?
If you don't know what I mean, Jack is inviting you to live from love, hope and optimism not anger, fear and despair. If you think you already embody those qualities all the time - fabulous. But I urge you to think about how you choose to communicate, and how you choose to live.
Overall, our speech has become filled with negative emotion. A simple example. You return from a two week vacation and someone asks you how your vacation was. If your response is 'not long enough' - that's a complaint. That is negative. If you said "it was great - I can't wait to go back again and explore more" - that's positive! If you complain, if you blame, if you use the word 'hate'; you are not living from love and hope. If you complain without offering an alternative or working to change what you complained out, you are not living from optimism. Living from love, hope and optimism means choosing to live life from a half full perspective, and it means actively working to make the world a better place (in big or small ways). It means choosing to live from acceptance instead of judgment.
If you know me, you know I was not a fan of Jack's so you are probably wondering why I am so passionate about his words. I am passionate because I believe that we need to learn to live from a different perspective - one of gratitude for all we have, instead of constantly complaining about our first world problems. A perspective of accepting that people have the right to a different viewpoint (if you got angry because I said I was not a fan of Jack's - I rest my case). A society in which individuals offer concrete solutions and actions instead of complaining about what 'they' 'should' do.
Negativity is destroying our lives, our economy, and our planet. It is time, as Jack said, to change the world.