By Megan Erbacher
Lately, for things largely outside of our control, the world feels so negative and volatile. So many of us seem to be against one another; and watching TV, scrolling social media, browsing the internet and even scanning newspaper headlines often bums me out more than it boosts my spirits.
I guess a quick-fix would be to not do those things. However, I’m not sure it’s realistic to completely ignore and steer clear of television, social media and the news.
Social media would probably be the easiest to give up, and I do my best to limit my exposure for my sanity, but occasionally it can surprise you. One of the best aspects of social media is the unexpected positivity sprinkled between all of the gloom.
A viral post I continue to see my friends share on multiple social media platforms is a story of someone wanting all the bad to stop, and being discouraged believing that the “new normal” we’ve been living since at least March is now real life. The post doesn’t credit the person who first shared the story, at least not one I could find.
The post recounts a person meeting an 87-year-old who spoke of living through polio, diphtheria and Vietnam protests, but he is still “enchanted with life.” The man was surprised when the person telling the story said to him that 2020 must be especially challenging.
“No,” the 87-year-old replied confidently in the story. He said he learned long ago not to see the world through the printed headlines, but he chooses to see the world through the people that surround him. He chooses to “see the world with the realization that we love big.”
So, the 87-year-old writes his own headlines:
- Husband loves wife today
- Family drops everything to be at grandma’s bedside
- Old man makes new friend
As I thought about this, slightly teary-eyed because I love the sentiment so much, it occurred to me just how many headlines I could write for myself.
So, I wrote a few down.
- Niece reaches for aunt’s hand
- Couple decorates for fall
- Friends have slumber party like they’re kids again
- Newlyweds survive quarantine together
After writing my first headline, I honestly could’ve written many more. Once you start to consider all of the stories the newspaper of your life would be filled with, it’s hard to stop seeing the good in every little aspect of life.
It doesn’t have to be so complex, and life doesn’t have to be a competition of whose is better and more fun. If we focus more on the simple pleasures God offers us daily instead of comparing our life with others, we will be more fulfilled than we can imagine.
If you dwell on the unknown parts of life, it’s easy to let the uncertainty bum you out. While social media can sometimes do that to me, now and then it provides a little perspective in the form of a viral post.
As we all strive to stay “enchanted with life,” what headlines can you write for the newspaper of your life?