What has our world come to? The mere evolution of society as a whole is mind-blowing to me. Yes, technology has had a major role in this transformation, but we have drastically changed as human beings. Our very being was founded on nothing - literally nothing. A big, mighty guy in the sky said "let there be light," and there was light, and then there was us. Things as simple as electricity, a wheel, fire, and sliced bread were deemed as revolutionary innovations at the early stages of our human development.
Today we so easily take for granted things like this and even simpler concepts such as human connection, face-to-face conversation, and life itself. When was the last time you were able to take time and sit back and actually notice what color the sky was? When was the last time you actually stopped and felt the sun shine on your skin? When was the last time you read a good book or had a meaningful conversation with a loved one? Hopefully you don't have to think too hard, but many of us in this day and age do.
We spend day to day letting the hours fly by, being caught up in our fast-paced commute to and from work. We stay glued to our phones, afraid we'll miss something even though we only refreshed our Instagram feed five minutes ago. Since when did a life portrayed behind a glass screen become more important than the real one we get to live in?
One of the most influential people in my life is my grandfather. As I get older, I find myself spending more and more time with him, having genuine conversations about life and all it entails. Both he and his wife have guided me through many trials and offered me spiritual support when I've needed it most.
He and his wife live a very different life from most people today. They don't have a computer, laptop, or smartphone. All of their important information is stored safely in physical objects such as folders, books, and journals. We can only get in contact with them via landline or the one simplistic cell phone that they share. We all joke with them about how archaic they are, and that if they had a Facebook they'd be able to see more of what all of us are up to. But, they find no urge to change what they're doing.
My grandpa explained it to me this way: he quoted Hoagy Carmichael and said, "accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives, and don't let Mister get in between." I was confused at first, but then he explained it to me. Mister represents all the extraneous things in your life. Social media, Facebook, reality TV, and all the extra stuff we spend so much of our time obsessing over. He told me that when we accentuate the positives in our life - like family and the blessings we've received - we are able to open our minds to being truly happy. And when we learn to eliminate the negatives, happiness is able to flow into our lives. But we have to make sure we don't let all the unnecessary "Misters" get in the way.
Both my grandfather and his wife choose to live a simplistic life based around accentuating the positives in their life, eliminating the negatives, and not letting Mister get anywhere between them. Through this, they are able to focus on their health, family, and happiness without spending time stressing over social media, who deleted them off of Facebook, or anything else that could get in the way of their joy. Witnessing such happiness and simplicity has inspired me to direct my life towards one of gratitude and joy.
Take time today to accentuate a positive, remove a negative, and not let a Mister get in between.