We can transplant a human heart but are not able to protect it from breaking. We can make a baby in a test tube but not feed all the millions of hungry children in the Third World. We give out Peace prizes but do not know how to make peace where over 100 wars are now occurring. We have developed a way for man to walk on the moon but not for my sister who has Multiple Sclerosis and cannot walk on the earth.
We have so much knowledge and so little wisdom. We can identify an animal with mad cow disease anywhere in North America but can't find Osama Bin Laden.
Technology has shrunk our planet so that we describe it as being "a global village", but, at the same time, we experience very little "community".
It seems that the more we seek solutions to world problems, the more we tend to blame.
Recently my friend told me about an article she had read which inspired her. The lady in the story stated that she thought she could change the world but failed. She then attempted to change her city and again failed. Next, she focused on her family and faced defeat. All she had left to change was herself but she found that by working on herself her family was positively impacted and they helped to make change in their city which ultimately improved the world!
Last June I was on a total of 18 airplane flights. Have you every paid close attention to the flight attendant who provides safety instruction before take-off? She or he demonstrates how to use the seatbelt, where to find the exits and then states "If there is an emergency, a mask will drop from the ceiling. Place this on yourself FIRST and then help the person beside you."
Balance, whether it refers to acrobatics, interior design, a financial plan or emotional well-being, requires knowing both strengths and weaknesses of the situation. A high-wire walker, for example, can have wonderful skills but without allowing for wind gusts will face disaster. The Prime Minister of a country at war who predicts the enemy's shortcomings will be defeated without also analyzing problems within the ranks of the allies. Those who are involved with championship sports teams know every failing of the opponent before the game even begins.
Psychologists help people to recognize and celebrate their strengths, identify weaknesses and develop strategies which will lead to wellness. "Life is one great balancing act" that requires a willingness to examine oneself and seek help when needed. The result is not only a changed person but there is also a ripple effect on families, groups, communities and countries!
If you truly desire to make a change in the world - begin with yourself!
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker