Improve Yourself, Illuminate the World

Personally, I enjoy much of the progress our world has made. The ability to have a face-to-face conversation with someone across the world, travel, learn about pretty much anything your heart desires with the click of a button, you name it. When it comes to human rights, freedoms and equality, we can also see tremendous improvements over time. It’s quite amazing what the human race is capable of, and it’s all for our benefit, provided we use the tools and opportunities correctly. But is everyone really using these tools and opportunities they’ve been given in a positive and progressive manner? If they are, or even if the majority of people are, the world would be improving and progressing at an even faster rate, and many of the major world problems would slowly be eliminated.

Interact With People

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When I’m walking around the city, or taking a ride on the subway, it’s very easy to see that the majority of people are plugged in to the matrix of technology, yet tuned out of reality. How many of these people notice each other walking by, or notice anything they’re walking by? Just a few days ago, I came across a news article of a girl who was hit by a train while looking down at her phone – she was 11 years old. Tragic, yet easily avoidable.

People are so absorbed in their alternate realities that their relationships with others are suffering. Like here, comment there, selfie everywhere. It’s quite clear that we have become self-obsessed. If we spent that time interacting with, and improving our interactions with others in person, the world would be a much happier place.

Meaningful Money

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What’s the next thing I can buy that will make me happy for a week…?

Another tool that many people receive from birth, earn through hard work, or stumble upon through some other avenue, is money. As a teacher, I get to see how the world is changing through our youth every year. What I’ve been seeing lately scares me. Not only  are we raising a generation of self-obsession, we are fuelling the never-ending craze for consumption. It has become the norm for elementary level students to have a technological device (i.e., tablets, smartphones, etc.). While these devices can be used for incredible things, the students are heavily addicted to them for all the wrong reasons. This creates issues in the classroom, and as I’ve witnessed, outside of the classroom such as lack of enjoyment from other real-world activities, and a struggle to stay focused. Furthermore, shortly after receiving these very expensive technological gifts, they become dissatisfied with them and are looking to upgrade (sometimes in hopes of gaining popularity). What would happen if we used the endless consumption money for other things? What would actually bring these people happiness and satisfaction? How could the world stand to benefit? I hope to explore some of these questions in my future writing.

Time to Create

 

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I often hear people complaining about how they don’t have enough time in the day to do everything that they need to. While I find this to be the case for myself, as well, there are ways we can minimize this problem, and actually have more time to pursue other passions and interests. Think about the time you spend mindlessly going through social media posts, reading nonsensical things on the internet, or watching TV shows and movies that, while entertaining, serve no further purpose. What about that long commute listening to the same songs over, and over again. Now imagine if you used that time to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Read or listen to a book, learn to play an instrument, spend quality time with your loved ones, start a side business – the possibilities are endless. Les Brown once said something along the lines of, ‘The richest place you’ll find on the Earth is the graveyard’. What if all of those dead ideas came to life. Fortunately for us, it’s not too late. Your creative ideas are needed in this evolving world.

If each individual does their part to improve themselves, the possibilities that lay ahead for the human race are very exciting. I see the major world problems as just that – problems. Problems that can be solved. The enjoyment we can get from living, and taking advantage of the opportunities and tools we’ve been given is far from its plateau. A good starting point is to work on our relationships, use of money and use of time. Before we can work on these things, we need to become aware of what the possibilities are. Start thinking, start illuminating.

I hope to explore these concepts more, and provide further suggestions for each. I would love your feedback – please reach out if you have any stories, suggestions or questions.

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