Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Believe in good

Hello 2015! 

It was recently pointed out that, with the new year in, we're now as close to the year 2030 as to 2000. 

Yikes was my first thought, and then I thought about it some more. 

Most of us remember the millennial year and the fears which preceded it. We hoped electricity grids would continue to work and that computers would prove digitally capable of transfer to the new century along with the rest of us. 

All that feels an astonishingly long time ago. It registers, in a way, as ancient history and at the same time it was gone in a flash. 

As a grade-schooler in the 1960s the year 2000 seemed light ages away. It was a date so far in the future it had the magic of the almost unobtainable.

It was so distant you could imagine anything about it. No one could tell you it couldn't happen. No one could tell you the wildest idea about it couldn't come true.

If thought about at all, 2000 was presented in terms of futuristic travel and marvelous inventions. Cars would self-drive is one of the things I remember reading about. 

This particular prognostication was perhaps written up in a scholastic newspaper, distributed weekly in the elementary classes in those years. The article came with an illustration of a dad at the steering wheel of a moving car.

He was depicted looking very carefree. He was taking his turn at a board game being played by the kids on a kind of table or console between the front seat and back seat, where they were. 

Perhaps he was simply looking on with affable interest but the thing is, his eyes weren't on the road. 

Mom had her own relaxed expression as the family drove along. Incredibly, not one of them showed any concern about where the car was going. It impressed me sufficiently to really stick.

Fifteen years by fifteen years time moves on. Each year begins a new slate bringing us ever closer to a new defined future. At the same time the old year and its undone business comes along with the switch of the calendar. 

Entry into the new year begins to shift meaning for lots of us as we move on in life. Dread of change, which can feel like undue upheaval, can come with the approach of new times.

This is a reason for lack of enthusiasm about the new year for some folks. The new year is unknown. It represents uncharted territory which, as you get older, forecasts an increasingly more challenging course.

Perhaps it's a subconscious wish to hold on to what's familiar. At any rate, numbers of us aren't giddy at prospects of a new year ahead. 

It's my hunch many are actually sad to see the old year go, even with its rough patches, which a year will give.

It's takes courage to expect good in change. Maybe that's what some of us run low on. It can require plenty of stamina to trust that good often comes with the new.

A few days into January a friend and I exchanged New Year's greetings. I.'m one who likes to say Happy New Year as often and to as many as I can. It's a friendly wish that helps to usher in January. It puts you on solid footing with all that is to come. 

She followed up by wondering aloud what, exactly, 2015 would bring. "It'll bring good," was my prompt assurance.. 

My automatic reply surprised me by its intensity. It was such an emphatic pronouncement. And yet it seemed right when I reflected on it. It's absolutely right to believe the new year will bring good.

It reminded me of a message on a tee-shirt I'd seen at the New Year. I noticed it because it said "Believe." 

Believe is a word which always makes me take note. Underneath "Believe" was the image of a butterfly and two words: "Butterfly effect."

Here's a young idealist was my thought as tee-shirt girl went by. She could have been me that many years ago.

My slogans for living weren't printed on tee-shirts back then but my philosophy was a similar match to hers. And they're still my slogans for living well, my own perspective for navigating this interesting world.

"Believe ... Butterfly effect " didn't stay on the tee-shirt, It began to accompany my thinking as it was intended to transmit itself.

The message iterates the theory that seemingly insignificant actions repeated over and over can have dramatic changing results.

It's like suggesting that the gentle flapping of butterfly wings can start a long chain of air disturbances that can cause a tempest of global proportions.

If something so gentle as myriads of butterflies can ultimately have widespread consequences, then surely repeated persistent actions of belief, good will and kindness can work their power too. 

These actions of will and choice can generate momentum that becomes positively sustained movement to impact and bring regenerative well-being to the face of the earth.

"Believe . . . Butterfly effect" has already traveled beyond tee-shirt girl. Just today I overheard snatches of conversation between two women who, running into each other in a supermarket parking lot, were.wishing each other a happy new year.

Their exchange was like between my friend and me. It ended with one of them saying, with conviction to her statement, that the new year would certainly hold good.

Maybe their visit drifted to me, which otherwise might have been missed, because "Believe . . . Butterfly effect" is a radar switched on to pick up and to absorb the good that is going on around you. 

This is how I interpret, anyway, the chance to hear my belief in the good 2015 will bring repeated by the stranger in the grocery store parking lot.

One person by one person the world can benefit from belief in good. 

It's advantageous to all of us to say good things and do good things. We can think of these actions as butterfly wings that can change events if not the entire world, 

Ro Giencke - January 6, 2015

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