Some thoughts and questions today on complacency. What is it and are we complacent? I always understood complacency to mean that someone was satisfied with what they had and was not interested in making any changes. The dictionary gives various definitions of complacency but here is one of them. Complacency is ‘ a feeling of smug or unethical satisfaction with oneself or ones achievements’.
I often hear people say ‘I’m alright Jack, so what!’ Is this being complacent? I also know those who sit back and let the world go to pieces around them because they think it does not concern them. Is this also complacency? Are we ever in a position where we can sit back and say we are satisfied with what we have and what we are doing? I am satisfied with what I have but that does not stop me from trying to make the world around me a better place for others to live in.
I look at the problems in the world today, the air pollution, the sea pollution, the land pollution, the way we have desecrated the land and ill-used it and much more. Has this happened because we have been complacent and could not see the threat to our planet and our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren? Did we just want more and more material goods without understanding the cost of these to the environment? Have we got used to cheap items which need replacing quite soon instead of the sturdy well made items that lasted for years and could be repaired? Have we become a throw-away society? And is this all because we have become complacent about how things are made and want more of them because they are cheap?
I could go on and on here but I think I have made my point. Being happy with what you have and not seeing the broader picture is not necessarily a good thing. I am happy with my current living situation and don’t need more gadgets or furniture or clothes but I am not just sitting here being smug about it, I am looking for ways to make manufacturing and the environment a better place to be. I am aware that time is running out for human life on our planet. What are you doing?
Acceptance can be looked at in many different ways. The simplest way maybe is the acceptance of compliments and small gifts which were unexpected. I always find it hard to accept compliments but that is just me!
Some things are difficult to accept. Such things might be a debilitating illness, a disability or even death of someone close. I know from personal experience how hard these things are to accept. But you have to accept so you can move forwards.
But there is also the acceptance of being part of a group. Acceptance in this case means being accepted by others. This can include work situations as well and sometimes that can be hard too. One of the problems with being accepted by and into a group can be just the fact that you are new to the group and those already in the group have formed close friendships. In these cases it can take a long time to feel that you are accepted by the others.
Another important part of acceptance is accepting others for who they are and not expecting to change them into something else. I am one of those people who try to stay true to myself and if someone doesn’t like what I do or say or how I dress, then I tell them it is their problem not mine. Acceptance of others is important in the world of today. You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. You can however encourage others to change in good ways so they become better people but they have to do that themselves.
There is a lot more to acceptance than what I have written here. I would love to know how you feel about it.
Officially we are now in the winter season. I have noticed how the trees stand proud against the skyline with their bare branches. I see my hedge getting much thinner with large spaces so I can see through into the garden of my neighbour. The birds are still there but keep hopping out to feed on the conveniently placed feeder. I love the days when the sky is clear and the sun is shining. There is something special about the winter sky and the landscape around us.
But winter also has a special meaning for me It is the time when I take stock of what the year has brought me and look at how I have dealt with it. There has been a lot of sadness and grief this year and that has been hard to deal with but getting out occasionally amongst the trees has helped enormously. I have also looked at what I have achieved or not achieved as might be the case with some things. Are there lessons to be learned from this and can I do better next year. I find the winter months with the shorter days gives me more time to contemplate what has gone and what is to come in the future. I can do the stuff that I have put on one side while I have been enjoying the summer times. I can unpack the boxes still left to do since I moved earlier in the year. Maybe I will find the items I have spent hours looking for but still not found!
I also stock up on food just in case I cannot get out. I am old enough to remember the years of heavy snowfall when nothing stirred so make sure I will be OK if anything like a heavy snowfall arrives and stays with us. But most of all I am looking forward to the Winter Solstice, now in less than three weeks time, when the light returns and the hours of daylight start to lengthen. I have lots of new things I want to try next year so I shall start planning them now, making sure I will have everything I need to do these things.
So a time for contemplation, planning and enjoyment is what winter brings to me.
There is a lot of uncertainty in our world today but what can we be really certain about. Thinking about this I found very little that I was absolutely certain about. For example, the sun rises and sets each day is something we are sure about. There are many things we feel certain about but are not necessarily so, like knowing I will still be here in the morning. Anything can happen to any of us at any time so nothing is certain.
So how do we deal with uncertainty in our lives? Much depends on what we are uncertain about.Where going to events or making new friends is concerned I have a way of dealing with any uncertainty. If asked out somewhere and I say that I’ll think about it, that generally means a no answer. If it is something I really would like to attend then my response would be immediate. That’s about trusting my instinct.
The best way to deal with uncertainty is to live in the now, in the present. Yesterday is history and we can do very little about what happened then. So today is what is important. I do the things I can and enjoy them, mainly, I try not to put off things that I can do today but have to pace myself so I don’t wear myself out. This means that I know that some things may never get done if anything happened to me. But that is life.
There is a lot going on in the world, some of which we don’t really want to think about because the effects of these events is not certain as we do not know exactly what is going on. There is nothing we can do about this until these events happen so there is no point worrying about them. Living in the present and enjoying each day as it comes along is vital. Uncertainty is so much a part of our lives but it does make us think more about ourselves and how we live.
You can of course make plans to deal with what might happen and if that makes you feel better, then do it. I try to plan ahead for some things and make lists of things I need to do to make sure of certain events in the future. When you get older and you realise that your life on earth may end in the next few years then you do make plans so that when you go, it will be easier for others. But even then there is an uncertainty about the timing so living for each day is still important. I read somewhere that you should live each day as if it was your last. A good way to live then!
Extremes are in the news at the moment but they have been around for a very long time. But lets take the weather first as that is very current. There have always been extremes of weather but we seem to be getting more, possibly because the climate is changing. So we have lots of flooding and lots of drought. These bring their own problems, like landslides and forest fires which both devastate the land around them and people’s lives as well as the wildlife which also lives there. But we are unable to change these events so far. However, such events often bring out the best in people and they all help each other to get back what they have lost. But a question here, does it change their lives?
We can look at extremes of beliefs next. There are some very right wing and some very left wing thinkers around. They each have their strong beliefs and many try to get rid of those who don’t agree. This turns into dictatorship and is not good for the many who don’t have the same beliefs. How do we deal with such extremes? Compromise is essential and we all need to think about what is fair, not just to ourselves, but to others who share our planet. What is best for one person is not necessarily any good for another. We are all different with different needs and this needs to be considered at all times.
Sometimes it can be easy to see if something is good for all of us. Take a large car for example, made in this country. That benefits people by giving them a job, it benefits those who buy the car and drive it, therefore benefiting those who maintain the car. But against all of that, we need to consider emissions and air quality. Not easy is it.
I am a great believer in changing what I can and trying to work with what I can’t change. This applies in all parts of life and the ways of my life. I feel that is a start and try to encourage others so that extremist views may at some point become a thing of the past.
It has been quite a sad and emotional week. Here in the UK we have been remembering all those who died in the First World War as today is 100 years since the Armistice was signed. It was meant to be the war that ended all wars but it was not long before another world war started. Since the end of that one there have been many other wars and conflicts and some are still ongoing. I sometimes wonder if we are ever going to learn that war means death for many and strong emotions for those left behind.
I wonder how much is remembered by our bodies about war. I was born during the Second World War . For many years I said that I remembered the bomb dropping on the houses not so far away but when I researched it I found that the bomb had dropped exactly one week before I was born. How could I remember it? I also do not like enclosed spaces. I suspect this is because my mother always hid under the stairs during bombing raids and I was with her in a small enclosed dark space.
So if I remember these things and know how it has affected me, how do others cope with what they have seen and experienced during a conflict. There were many atrocities which seem beyond the understanding of human beings but they still continue. Man’s inhumanity to man continues every day somewhere in the world. When will we understand that we are all equal whatever colour, race or creed and we all need to respect that and work together. If we can’t do this then there will never be a world wide peace.
So today as during the week, I am remembering all those affected by wars and conflicts as well as those affected by large natural disasters and any form of terrorism or shooting events. The trauma left behind is not easily dealt with and can linger for ever.
Here is the Druid prayer for peace. I welcome you to use it whatever creed you have.
Deep within the still centre of my being
May I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove
May I share peace.
Gently (or powerfully) within the greater circle of humankind
May I radiate peace.
May we remember all those who died and the reason why.
This weeks blog is linked to the one from last week about caring. Support and caring go together in many ways. I see part of my life as a druid as being of service to others, helping, caring and supporting. So what do we mean when we talk about support? It is often thought of as financial support which is good for those who need to buy something important so they can live their lives safely as it helps them to get what they need such as grab bars in a bathroom or kitchen or a walking aid or bathroom aid. I have a lot of these aids to help me live my daily life. I have gadgets to help with opening tins and jars or bottles for example. Without these gadgets I would really struggle and have to change the way I eat and cook. I also use walking aids which enable me to get out and about.
But support is not just about financial support. It is about being there for people, helping them with everyday tasks and encouraging them when they feel down. You need to be aware of what they need in their lives so that you give the right kind of support. Sometimes, just a hug helps. People who need support are often disabled in some way and quite vulnerable on their bad days. You need to be aware of when this happens so you can be there to help and support in whatever way is needed. I have one friend who visits when she has finished work. She always asks if there is anything I need from the shop as she will get it and bring it with her. Even though I might not need anything, it is the thought that counts and she is very supportive. I hope I support her in different ways. Just listening is a kind of support. Sometimes problems seem much less when they are shared even though the problem still remains.
This week I have had a back problem which is getting better slowly. It means I cannot do a lot of the things I usually do. I have managed though as I normally do but the house needs a clean that will have to wait. Hopefully any visitors will understand this. I have heard people say about houses they have visited that the house was dirty or untidy. This may be because the person living in the house is unable to do the cleaning and an offer of help would have been appreciated.
So being aware of when support or help of some kind is needed is very important. Are you aware of any one who needs some kind of support or help? And do you offer what is needed?