Voice and Vision

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70: Finding the Good

Right now things seems pretty gloomy–inflation, bad economy, soaring gas and grocery prices, Ukraine war, killer heat, continuing mass murders, abortion bans, Covid’s new wave, Monkey Pox, animal species disappearing, political animosity, ineffectual Congress, declining democracy, climate crisis–the list could go on and on. As serious as most of these issues are, the sun still shines on most days, the wind blows, and the moon rises when it’s supposed to.

We forget the good midst the bad. Better to remember the good even when bad dominates.

Why?

Because the good in life reminds us all is not lost. Finding the good enables us to have something to be grateful for, something to appreciate, learn from, stay alive for, share with others. Finding and enlarging every tidbit of good is a powerful way to live. If you read my postings regularly, you may recall my posting # 69 in which I relay my uncle’s wisdom:  “Magnify every scrap of good.” He’s right, you know. It’s a beneficial way to live as long as one is honest–not flaunting hyperbole or imaginary good.

I’m not advocating pretending all is well. I’m advocating making all as well as possible. We can control what our thoughts rest upon. We don’t have to ruminate in worries or take in every media message about how awful things are. We can read factual reports, be informed about what is happening, then find our way through it, search for ways to get involved, find out how to help make things better, even if it is only to hold in thought potential good.

Out my west windows across the back of the house facing the ocean estuary, I find gorgeous good in sunsets almost every night. Though the house is too small, the plumbing can be ornery, the exterior paint’s peeling, the location’s poor for selling art (but a haven for mosquitoes), I do have superb sunsets to diminish woes. Nightly sunsets cause me to reflect on wider concerns.

Reflecting on the terrible loss of life in Ukraine and Uvalde, I remind myself “the gift of God is eternal life…” (Rom 6:23) and “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” (Prov. 12: 28) and, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8: 38-39). All this comes because of a sunset.

Another good like sunsets: my children and grandchildren. What fine people they are (o.k. you may think I’m prejudiced here, but I’m not the only one to see their integrity, kindness, courage and sincere goodness). I admire that my grandchildren show a remarkable innocence and curiosity about life, that they keep going with keen interests while the world wobbles around them in worries its adults can’t seem to master. Youth launches out like a shooting star while we seem dazed, stationary, questioning how to solve problems that seem as big as the universe.

Another good: dogs. Ones I’ve had and miss. And the one I have now, Beacon (even if “come” still seems a foreign concept to him, unlike “car”). There’s something fine about a dog. Their unconditional love, playfulness, dignity, beauty, allegiance to us. Full of life, they are ready for a walk, a hike, a wade in the ocean, or a nap with you on your bed. They seem to come not only aware of humans’ lives and how to please them, but also with a delightful sense of humor.

Another good:  Music. Play it often. It transports one to a blissful place.

Another good:  Friends. Hunt for them. Sincere ones are not easy to find but worth the effort.

Other good: Walk the beach or hike mountains. Plant and care for an organic garden. Make lovely meal-gatherings. Clean something you’ve been avoiding. Read a wise writer’s words. Hug someone. Help someone. Do all these things–and many more that you are probably already doing. Then watch good radiate like a sunset in your mind and heart.

Summer Glow, watercolor, framed, 22" x 18", $775. A mellow start of sunset, Pemaquid, Maine, by Gwendolyn Evans

Summer Glow, watercolor, framed, 22″ x 18″, $775. A mellow start of sunset, Pemaquid, Maine, by Gwendolyn Evans.

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