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I think the world is depressed – I might be wrong, but I think maybe she’s showing signs of feeling decidedly down.

Wednesday is my day off and for me there is no better way than to start my day, at my desk with coffee and some words. So great start to the day, but as the day progressed so did my mood. By the afternoon I was downright gloomy, the weather didn’t help of course, (it’s, um, been raining a lot) but I did wonder what had caused my usually sunny spirit to dip like that?

Then I looked at what I was reading, every news article, every blog post, everything I seemed to encounter was gloomy. It’s no wonder the world is feeling blue when we are reading nothing but negativity. And this negativity is seeping into our fabric. South Africans are generally robust and positive and come bouncing back from disappointment with a positive spin, generally, mostly, sometimes.

In the aftermath of Black Tuesday I was expecting something similar and for the most part some positive voices rang out, but even those voices sounded like they were dredging their last reserves of positivity from the bottom of an empty barrel. Am I getting old or is there a growing realisation that happiness seems to be leaking through our fingers at a rapid rate? I am an optimist, intrinsically I will always look for the good and yet I am starting to feel guilty when I do feel good because there is so much unhappiness, inequality and dissatisfaction in the world. Sometimes it feels like being an optimist is tantamount to being delusional. If you’re happy then you’re either blind, deaf or all three (yes you read right) flipski, that can’t be right surely? Are we supposed to be feeling guilty about feeling good?

That heavy feeling was still with me yesterday and I couldn’t seem to shake it – until I had a rethink – a re-imagine … the Buddhists have a really powerful mantra which connects us to the world and often when I am feeling a little powerless, I borrow the intention of this meditation and repeat these words to myself: “in this moment you are safe, you are well and you are loved”. That’s it, simple, truthful words.

You are safe, you are well, you are loved!

That’s what the world needs, the world needs a reminder that in this present moment with threat and violence and unhappiness and loneliness abounding that she is in fact well, she is safe and she is loved. Our love, freely offered, may just lift the blackness that is permeating the earth’s core, so today take a moment (take a few moments) to hold a happy thought in your heart – you never know it may catch on and set a fire in another person’s heart. When we focus on the negative we attract that to ourselves, but when we recognise hurt and injustice and inequality and pain and can hold those things in love instead of fear and anxiety, we go a long way to removing their power. Positive thoughts  do not correct the wrongs happening in the world, but they can place within us a sense of hope that our love and our faith can transform some of the darkness into the light. Realistically things may be bad, but does our misery serve any good? Overcome evil with good – overcome dark with light. Choose to be happy and to choose to be joyful, let’s smile for God, smile for one another – the world needs a lift and the gift of our joy today may be just the kind of lift she is looking for.

The world doesn’t need Prozac – the world needs love … whisper to her today: you are safe, you are well, you are loved …

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