Why so serious?

Got the weight of the world on your shoulders? It’s enough that you have bills, pressures at work and a desire to make sure the kids grow up as functional and well-rounded as possible. Who’s got time to worry about “making the world a better place” let alone finding some time to enjoy yourself?

But you are a thoughtful person. In your quiet moments, you can’t help but concern yourself with the plights of humanity—the wars, the state of society, the bombings and shootings, the seemingly endless economic uncertainty—but what can you do? You’re just one person and you’ve got your own problems.

Without sounding too much like an infomercial sales pitch… Good news! You can have it all!

It’s true that there are limits on how much each of us as individuals can affect the course our societies are on. But that doesn’t mean we’re completely powerless. So, in the spirit of cheesy marketing list articles, I’m offering you the Seven Steps to a Better World! (cue triumphant orchestral music and B-movie narrator reverb)

Step one: Get Enjoyment: Cast off your cares once in a while. Have a good time. You’ll feel better, more equipped to face the challenges in your life, and those around you will find your elevated mood and sense of optimism infectious.

Step two: Hold Ideals: Decide for yourself what’s good and right and true. It’s important that your ideals are genuine, authentic and deeply rooted. Give yourself, those around you and society something to live up to.

Step three: Become Aware: Tune in to what’s going on around you. Why do the people around you do what they do, say what they say? What’s their perspective? Worldview? Emotional state? Social context? There’s usually much more going on within others than what manifests itself on the surface. 

Step four: Care About Others: It’s difficult not to view the whole of humanity as a number or series of statistics—7 billion is truly impossible to fathom. But resist this urge. Everyone on Earth is just like you—they want to be taken seriously. They want acceptance and validation. They need help sometimes, be it emotionally, physically or financially.

Step five: Do Your Best: You’re always doing something, whether it’s at work or school or for your own enjoyment. Every endeavor in your life requires a certain amount of creativity, commitment, diligence and concentration. Give it all you’ve got, all the time.

Step six: Heed What’s Right: Similar to “Hold Ideals,” this step takes it another level and asks you to do what’s right even in the face of mass opposition. It’s common that those around you—or even your entire society—are making disastrous decisions and following dangerous paths. If you’re aware of this, if you have your principles, it’s your responsibility to do what you know to be the right thing anyway. 

Step seven: See Unity: The truth of the matter is… we’re all in the same boat. Languages, borders, cultures, ethnicities, religions, ideologies and many other factors separate us. But our humanity unifies us. There is much more that all the peoples in the world have in common than they don’t.

These seven steps emerge in THEE as Primal Injunctions, deep within the Your Better Self framework. It’s an important framework, and very personal. Within it are the keys to one’s purpose in life, (discussed in the blog George’s Quest) discussions of spirituality, divinity and the struggle between good and evil.

But those are all heavy topics. Let’s stay focused.

This blog is designed to answer the questions of: What can I do about it? A blog entitled “Seven Steps to a Better World” could easily read something like: end war, poverty, corruption, greed, discrimination, disease and cookie-cutter pop teen sensations. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing you can personally do to bring all of those things about. However, if you and scores of other people can get a line on these Primal Injunctions, a better world could be just around the corner.

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