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Natural Awakenings New York City

Uplift This... Why am I trying to make everyone love each other? I’m not a Beatle.

We don’t have control over anyone else’s thoughts or behaviors. We can only work on ourselves.

By Celeste DeCamps

All over social media, I see quotes and memes saying, “Be Kind,” “Be the Person That Makes Someone Smile,” “Be Compassionate”—in other words, don’t be a jerk. Why do we have to keep reminding everyone to be nice? Why is there so much hate in the world? Why is the person in front of me walking so slowly?

Why am I trying to write something so prolific that it will make everyone love each other? I’m not a Beatle. (I want everyone to be happy. I want world peace. I want my brother to stop making fun of me. Seriously, it’s like we’re still 8 years old.) 

We don’t have control over anyone else’s thoughts or behaviors. We can only work on ourselves. It seems like an upward battle, going through our day-to-day lives and feeling like no one cares. It would be great if this person could just move to one side so I can get around him. 

Practicing mindfulness is a wonderful way to stay in the moment. When we’re not fixated on the past or the future, we get clarity on what’s important right now. The focus becomes what we do have control over, which is our own thought process and attitude toward others. If we aren’t in a good mood, we need to take a moment and find out why. We can blame others for our circumstances, or we can learn how to change our lives for the better.

The funny thing is that when we ask for help, we get it. A helping hand can come from the most unlikely places, and it renews our faith in humanity, reminding us that there’s a lot of good in the world. It’s easy to fixate on all the bad news coming at us, but when we take a moment to appreciate what we have and how far we’ve come, we see the world differently. I could see the world better if the person in front of me wasn’t blocking my view.

I’m not trying to simplify the human experience. I can’t tackle the big picture of corruption, greed, and racism. On a smaller scale, though, we all play a part in this game called life. (Wow, that’s deep!) We all have the power to make someone smile or cry. We should ask ourselves what pleasure can be derived from hurting someone else. Yes, we get angry and frustrated with people because, you know . . . people. Taking a second to breathe deep might mean the difference between compassion and jail time. 

There’s no easy way to understand someone else’s perceptions and thoughts. Keeping a healthy, positive outlook goes a long way toward developing patience with other people. It’s hard for someone or something to ruin your day when you’re in a great mood. 

Having said that, I’ll stop planning the demise of the turtle in front of me. World peace can be achieved after all. 

Celeste DeCamps is a motivational speaker. She shares her lifetime experience of stage-dance and movement through engaging stories and audience interaction, guiding people as they discover tools that will keep them feeling energized and confident moving forward. For more information, visit CelesteDeCamps.com.