If you are one of those people who believe they can insulate themselves from any kind of unwanted emotion, please stop reading now and skip this article. It’s not for you. For the rest of us, let’s explore how to deal with sadness in the world and still feel joyful.
Sadness, like anger and fear, and joy, are all necessary emotions. Similar to guardrails, they help keep us moving safely down the road of life. Take away any of them – willpower to ignore suffering, for example – and the resulting guidance issues aren’t good.
That is, an all-joy diet is about as harmful to mental and emotional health as an all-sugar diet is for mental and physical health.
Also, ignoring sadness in the world isn’t a humane way to treat fellow beings who could benefit from your empathy, generosity, or compassion.
The most troubling images and ideas are promoted all over the ‘net. Political contrast is no longer about who has good ideas; now it’s about denigrating – personally annihilating – the people who hold opposite ones. Sexism and violence sell much better than empathy and compassion so that’s mainstream. Ignoring this is like ignoring climate change.
We humans are resonators. We hear and amplify what feels good as well as what does not, and while we can choose which type of feelings to amplify, we can’t often choose which kinds we encounter. For example:
I’d like to suggest that turning away
from a homeless person
– for whatever reason –
is perpetuating homelessness
by denying a fellow human being
your empathy and compassion.
* * * *
I’d like to suggest that vilifying a politician
also vilifies the people who helped elect that politician.
Instead, while our politicians may act like children,
we can offer people who vote differently
the same empathy and compassion we ought to offer
to people without doors.
* * * *
Since World War II, we’ve given the vilification a full airing here in America, don’t you think? Isn’t it time for a different response?
Instead of turning away, it’s so easy to respond. The idea here is to engage. Get down with what we dislike. If we dislike hate, don’t invest in exposing more hate. Just invest in love. Think about that. Same goes for racism, sexism, and all the joyless roadblocks that keep humankind from treating itself properly.
Empathy is engagement. Compassion is engagement. And both are much better responses than many of the fashionable ones right now, just a few weeks before the 2018 American mid-term elections.
Empathy and compassion are timeless. Try it. And they have one same important side-effect: joy.
Whether or not you know the joy of deep engagement with empathy and compassion, the magic is that joy is still all yours. It’s just better if you first engage deeply with people who are scared, angry, or sad.
There’s More How-to Here
Please don’t think we’d ever leave you without any guidance! You can find some useful how-to in this article: Three Tips For Finding Joy And Contentment In Your Life Each And Every Day. Or simply contact us here.
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How To Deal With Sadness In The World And Still Feel Joyful