There are questions we ask ourselves all of our lives that can haunt us if we let them. What if that decision was wrong? What if I shouldn’t have done that? What if I had tried out for the chess team in high school? What if I said yes?
There are a million of these questions that you can consume your time with, but they don’t add up to anything in the end because the fact is whatever you are “what if-ing” about didn’t happen, will never happen and so should concern you about as much as what the weather was in Borneo in the year 1656.
There are a lot of other what ifs you can worry about that could make a difference in the world and I think I would rather focus on those.
What if ………..
Their surface smile could be hiding a tempest of emotions below. One kind word or gesture could be the human contact they needed to keep moving forward. There are many words we let slide with no thought or regard for their destination and potential impact. Speak as if your words could save a life. What if that were so?
Instead of thinking about the things we don’t have we spent time being grateful for the things we do have. I have seen people make gratitude lists and it changes the way they look at the world. Gratitude has the power to transform the way you feel about things.
They do not have to be monumental, giant things, be thankful for the little things. Being alive, a peanut butter sandwich, coffee, or whatever little things bring you comfort and joy throughout your day. In most philosophies, gratitude is the key to abundance. What if we all were a little more grateful?
There were no separations between people. That means that nobody grouped anybody. Instead of being sectioned off because of your age, nationality, economic status or color of your skin. We were all members of one group, human beings.
When you look for differences among people you find separation. Separation is the first step toward discrimination because it creates an us vs them mentality. The smaller the circle of us becomes the more likely we are to have a problem.
This is true for any conflict of every size including the race riots of the 1960’s to economic conflicts of today. What if there were no separations between people, just people?
What if that wasn’t the case, and they were focused on helping the people who live here as much as they are concerned about helping themselves.
Should any person in our country be hungry? Should any person have to fear to suffer from domestic violence? Is there any good reason that the educational system is broken beyond repair? Children treated with kindness and hope would change the world. What if we had a representative government that actually represented the people and not big business?
People spent more time using the most powerful force in the universe, love. Instead of choosing to participate in activities like gossip, discrimination, judgments of others or worrying about what is in it for me? Imagine people spending their time focusing on understanding, kindness, acceptance and what they can do for others.
How different would the lives of every person be if they spent all of their effort on spreading loving kindness? Hatred can only be defeated by love, not more hate What if people spent more time thinking and acting with love?
What if is a question that we can ask all of the time, it can be used to hold us back or it can be used as a catalyst to find the best in ourselves and in others.