From Earth Shattering to World Building

Sometimes it feels like we move from one earth-shattering crisis to another. It's not difficult to become perpetual victims of chaos and crisis if this is our prevailing life view. It all becomes so overwhelming. If you turn on a cable news channel the red banner of Breaking News will be boldly displayed in red on the bottom of the screen. If it isn't there immediately, just wait a minute. Of course the announcement is always intended to be shocking. It’s never good. Earth-shattering things are happening all of the time, so there's little need to invent things that will agitate people. We seem addicted to hearing and watching what awful things are going on. Like voyeurs who can't seem to take their eyes off of something salacious, we just keep coming back for more. I think it might be time to shift from our fascination on the earth-shattering to a focus on world-building and what each of us might do to further those efforts.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." ~ James Baldwin

The movement from earth-shattering to world-building requires a bit of self-awareness and some heartfelt commitment to change. But it's not too hard and doesn't require volunteering in some faraway disaster area. Changing the world in which we live for the better begins in our own homes. When we take an inventory of the way we interact with the people who live under our roofs, it will certainly reveal plenty of room for improvement and growth. Sure, we love each other, but probably miss dozens of opportunities to demonstrate it every day.

One way to engage in some world-building around home is by showing the genuine delight we experience in the presence of our loved ones. I try this out frequently, and it's always a hit. When I tell my grandson or granddaughters that they are stars, superheroes, or how cute and funny they are it always results in squirming, smiles or giggles (of course, then I rile them up and make life more difficult for their parents). The eyes of my wife and grown children twinkle with appreciation when I express my admiration for them. It works every time. And believe it or not, the world becomes a happier place as well. The ripples become waves to ride as we carry what I call the 'delight program' into our neighborhoods and greater community. This is because delight fosters remarkable transformation in anyone it touches and then spreads from one person to the next.

The Yiddish expression mazel tov comes from Hebrew words meaning "a constellation of good stars and destiny" This is wishing unfettered congratulations and joy for someone in whom God delights. And God delights in each and every one of us. The world can be shattered in violence if we engage in hate. But it can be built and reconstructed with love and delight. It is a matter of choice. As for me, I think a good mazel tov is best. After all, you are the apple of God's eye.