The quote today comes from Shel Silverstein, who says:
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the wonts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.”
There have been an inordinate number of people, of late, who have been demanding that we listen to them. A huge number of these have been the doomsday orators whose predictions of the future of this country do not bode well for us. This has resulted in, sometimes quite prolific debates, which have resulted in bruised egos and battered self-esteem.
Oh, please don’t get me wrong – I believe that intelligent debate is a good thing. Apart from hearing, listening (and those are two entirely different things believe it or not), and understanding a situation from a completely different viewpoint, a good debate also ‘stretches’ the mind, and quite honestly I’m all for that. What I am having difficulty in understanding, is why some people are ‘hell-bent’ on declaring South Africa, hopeless.
I find it disconcerting, and frankly, a little insulting to have to listen, on a continual basis, about how this country is ‘going down the tubes’. Quite honestly, if they spent as much time doing things to improve their lot as they do bemoaning the fact that they don’t have one or because of apartheid, they still haven’t found one, I have no doubt we would be a lot further along the road to recovery than we currently appear to be.
I am astounded by the amount of energy that they are willing to use in order to beat their breasts and cry ‘woe is me’ and list all of the bad things that are happening around us, and yet they are unwilling to spend a fraction of that energy in looking for something good that has happened!
So here is the deal. I am no longer prepared to listen to these people, I am no longer prepared to waste my time and energy trying to change their minds and show them the good around us. I am, in fact, no longer prepared to have anything to do with these people – I know that that sounds a bit harsh, but that is exactly how I feel.
Instead of wasting time and energy on them, I will be using my time and energy to find the good, to change what’s wrong in my own life, to make a difference in the lives of others.
If we all just had one positive thought, if we all just made one positive statement and if we all just shared one positive thing with each other on a daily basis, I have no doubt that this country would be a fabulous beacon of shining light.
So what are you going to spend your energy on today?