A well known leader in the world of transformation, comedian Jim Carrey, in his introduction for Eckhart Tolle at the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment conference, spoke about news and media as being "About people's conflicts tied together in the most exciting possible way and you imagine that the world is this explosive, horrifying place and the news is all this negativity condensed and it really is not representative of what the world is or what the world wants."
A lesser known leader in the world of transformation, my dentist, Dr. Gary Alberts, brought up something similar today. He mentioned how there is so much negative and sensational news in the world and how every time you turn on the TV someone is trying to frighten you into watching their news program by shouting out shocking news headlines: "The killer in your basement" (mold and mildew) or "Are schools killing our children?" (a report on poor nutrition in school lunches).
Dr. Alberts was referencing one of my Huffington Posts in which I mentioned that we could fire the negative influences in our lives and hire more positive ones. In that article, Mirror Images: Reflecting the Best in YOU, I mentioned hiring and firing people not only as employees or clients, but as friends. Gary mentioned that he 'fires' much of the sensational, yellow journalism news programs and spends time on alternative news sites that also report on the good and positive. But as I thought about our conversation afterward I realized he does more to create a 'transformed' world than that.
Gary has built his whole practice by hiring people like Suzie and Dale who actually like people. A visit to his office is like a, well, a VISIT, with some dentistry added. His office is full of staff that will MapQuest the route from a new client's place of business to the office, but also include a second route from their home in case their plans change. Gary has made sure that the time he spends working is in a climate where he can be his best and where everyone around him is given that same permission. He's created an oasis of transformation.
I visited him today because I've been in such pain from a recent procedure for kidney stones that I literally cracked a tooth by clenching my teeth. I've experienced '11' pain on a 1-10 scale for hours at a time and, at least recently, my life has been lived as extreme pain with a space between for relief that is either dulled pain or no pain. I could, in the context of this discussion, see life as pain, with a space in between of no pain.
What I'd rather do is to see life as joy and see the pain as existing in the space between. It is like seeing my recent discomfort as a chapter in the book, not the book itself. And it helps by making sure that all the interactions in my life are the results of conscious choice. Like hiring and firing friends and clients, hiring and firing in all of aspects of my life including where I shop, where I eat, my doctors of all types and every other aspect of my life.
Building out from Gary's practice I can make the choice not to allow people to make me wait, treat me impersonally or to put up with substandard treatment or service. Rather than shopping for the lowest cost, I can shop for a place that I can afford that will share my values. Supporting the businesses and professionals who make an effort, who do their jobs as an extension of themselves and not like robots or slaves can help us all create the world around us that we would love to be in.
The problems, breakdowns and bad service are then relegated to smaller and smaller 'blips' on the screen with more and more of the space between becoming 'high' moments filled with positive, reinforcing experiences. My life, in this case, would be the moments at the coffee shop where everyone goes out of their way to be friendly, to the dentist's office I'm mentioning, to the family owned dry cleaner using the 'eco-friendly' system and then the potholes, aggressive drivers and other stuff would be the space between these great moments of connection and sharing.
Turning off FOX news for example, the worst example of yellow journalism since the term was invented in the late 1800s, can help send the message that we know there are evils in the world, but we also know that there are good people who care. Maybe then we wouldn't see the National Enquirer being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. We could support instead some great new blogazine, like Ageless Northshore, a new type of journalism that reports on things to see and do but also adds a level of encouragement on how to grow, change and adapt in an ever changing world.
Time is finite; there is only so much of it and then we're done. I challenge you to seek out the oases and choose to create those as the markers along the journey; the more you add, the more enjoyable the journey. The space between will always have pitfalls and decay of some sort or the other, but we can become conscious of our choices and transform our own lives in a way that will, eventually, transform the whole world.
If you'd care to leave a comment to this article please take the time to mention someone you know who, like Dr. Alberts and his staff create an oasis of positive energy by doing what they do the best way they know how. Let's celebrate the good a little bit.