The other day I was sitting at a stop light and noticed two cars, each with a bumper sticker:
Car One: If you surrender to HATE you've already LOST
Care Two: Got Hope?
I was really struck by the two vastly different mindsets these stickers call upon. And what an amazing glimpse of society this was, sitting right in front of me. Car One is focused on surrender, hate, and loss. Moreover, the spirit of this sticker is buying into the western ideal that for every event, there is a winner and a loser; that there is no middle ground to just "be." Car Two focuses on the simple question of hope (and yes, I'm aware its an Obama sticker, but I'm choosing not to reflect on the political undertones here).
It made me wonder - if we had just one saying, one reflection we could broadcast to others, what would we choose. What do we each of us focus on, day to day?
I've heard that Mother Theresa was once asked if she would join a march against war. Her response was "tell me when you are marching for peace." She was determined to be focused on the good, on the right thing, on the thing that would help all of humanity.
I truly believe that we bring into our lives those things that we focus on. Every day we can make the choice to focus on hope, on love, on peace, on unity. Instead of associating yourself with surrender, hate and loss, wouldn't the better bumper sticker be "Choose LOVE?"
Choosing to let love motivate your decision making everyday can be a challenge. Sometimes its easier to pick fear, and let it motivate us to do things. Like telling a little lie to avoid hurting someone, give in to gossiping because we want to be accepted, commiserating with others about "how bad everything is these days." The list can go on and on, but I believe that we we look into our hearts, choosing fear is not our true nature. We only choose fear when our ego leads the way and when we give into thinking that we are not good enough.
When we pick love, however, its easy to see things in a positive light. We can be kind to everyone, we can be joyful, we can tell the truth, we can focus on what's good, and we can be determined to make a difference every day. When we choose hope and love, we become powerful. Powerful as individuals and powerful in communities.
As you go through your days, I encourage you to be mindful of which mindset you are following. And, I encourage you to pick love, hope and courage, even when it seems like it might be hard.