Letter To A [World-Fixing Wannabe] Dreamer

Dear Self,

You have an opinion on what is wrong with the world and the people in it. Doesn’t everyone? If I ask you to point a finger at a probable cause, there will be several ready answers. They are probably already on the tip of your tongue. Names, even.

What if we’re all being distracted by all this finger-pointing?

I know. We’re all in a hurry to get better. We’re all in a hurry to sew up the conflict and patch over the holes in our humanity.

What if blame is getting in the way? (Haha. I realize I’m sort of saying blame is to blame. It’s just that sneaky!)

Resist the urge to say “sin” or “this political candidate” or “that trend” or “me.” This is not a game of finding the big bad wolf and making him own up and pay up. Resist the urge to say “this is what’s wrong with the world.” Maybe even stop focusing on the wrong-ness of this world at all.

I know. It’s hard. It might mean you have to quit Twitter. Or the news. Or some cherished ideologies, though the thought may more than horrify your nearest and dearest. You might even have to quit feeling guilty for not being in a position to make the big changes you believe need to happen.

If everything you are looking at is about all the things that make you sick, you are not going to find a shred of happiness. You’re going to find paralysis. You will not be able to be true to the real you. You will not be able to do the things you do the best. All this misery is rendered pointless.

But what about the what ifs, you ask? If we do away with blame, what will I use to help solve the world’s complex issues?

Imagination.

Surely there is more than one angle. And it doesn’t hurt to try a new way of looking at things. Why not start with the empathy approach? Or have you decided it’s too costly? Blame is cheap and quick, like a box of nuggets you can order from a drive-thru and scarf down at the stoplights. But it won’t feed you. It won’t feed anyone. It only feeds hate, which is always a deadly cancer.

Empathy will help you understand that not everyone has the same starting point. It will help you realize there are millions of hearts doing their best to find love and meaning in their lives. If change begins in the heart, it must be cultivated over time in order to be effective. Blame is the quickest way to close up hearts, minds, and fists. Empathy is full of grace and benefit of the doubt, and hope for a better place to live in, which everyone deserves and craves.

Stop asking what’s wrong with yourself, or what’s wrong with the world. Start asking how you can do the work of repair, inside and out. You were made to be whole.

You have chosen to safeguard, restore, and brighten. Those are your words. That is a compelling and consuming job. You are doing enough. And it is good.

Love,

Your Inner Essence

Jamie Bagley