There are copious amounts of memes in the world today that reference what a disaster the year 2016 has been. Almost all of the people I have talked to the past few weeks have been having an extremely rough start to the month. A very stressful election just came to an end. Around the world there is general cruelty, unjust murder and warring people, corrupt governments, starvation and animal abuse; the list never ends. A lot of people are feeling concerned and helpless around the world. But I am here today to tell you that the year 2016 does not have to end on a sour note.
A person's state of mind is their most powerful tool for seizing the day. Attitude is absolutely everything. If anyone wants to try to change anything, a more positive outlook is the only way anyone is going to get anywhere as 2016 comes to a close. In a world already so full of hateful words and harsh attacks on other people's beliefs, negativity is so normal that further negativity will have no further impact. Instead, optimism, hope and a smile can go a long way.
There are times when I become overwhelmed when thinking of all the world's problems to the point where I need to sit down and do some serious contemplating. For each existential crisis I have put myself through, for every moment of angst I grapple with, I feel smaller and smaller. But there is something that I forget. I am significant. I am influential. And you are, too. Everyone is. Every action you make is important. This is the attitude that people need to adopt. Remembering that you matter and that you have an impact is a power you do not want to abuse. Why use your time to spread further stress?
In a time when the world appears to be on the brink of utter disrepair, now it is more important than ever to remember the power of kindness. We must remember that feeling compassion, passion, love, and concern are joys that we get to experience because we are human. And it is because we are human that it is important to share these joys with one another. But first, before any big-scale problems can be tackled, one of the hardest problems needs to be tackled first. It is easy to harden as a person when around constant negativity. Please, be nice to yourself. Navigating through life is not easy, and the fact that you're right here reading this is proof enough in itself that you're on the right track.
Secondly, be kind to others. How many times do we hear this? You would think with how often the words "respect" and "love" and "acceptance" are thrown around in schools and in society that a difference would be made. But alas, hatred still runs rampant among nations. A simple smile at people you pass by on the street is a good starting place. Hold doors open for people, ask someone how their day was and actually want to know, don't allow it to be small talk. If you pass judgement on a person, fight the urge to share it with them. Kindness to others shouldn't be something you have to go out of your way for. They are simple habits you can pick up and practice everyday that will bring you a lot more joy and touch the lives of others.
One person alone cannot change the world issues that have become so prevalent today. But if everyone could adopt a more positive attitude and be kinder to others, we would be in a much better place. So please, I implore you. Set a good example for those around you, and eventually the idea will catch on. This year can end well if you decide to make it end well. If you make a conscious choice every day to be as happy as you can and to spread as much happiness as you are capable of, you can exit this year with a feeling of satisfaction.