Peace, joy and depression

A white Christmas was fun, but we were glad to travel South when all the forecasters were predicting freezing rain and -12 wind chill. We woke out of our holiday reverie and got a move on. Too bad we don’t have forecasters to tell us when our society is in trouble so we’ll wake up and get to work.

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Societies used to have such people.  One of the most famous was Jeremiah.  He predicted the destruction of his nation.  “You were given a bountiful country and ate of its fruit and its goodness. Then you defiled the land and made it an abomination.” Sounds like any country you know?

Most of us would rather stay in the holiday reverie.  Our lives are fine.  Let’s enjoy life and not listen to the Jeremiahs.  Or maybe there is a way to have joy and peace and still work to resurrect our bountiful country.

Working in countries with seemingly intractable problems, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. People often ask me how I keep motivated working in countries where nothing seems to change. The key is to not tie your peace and joy to outcomes.  You can invest a lot of time and effort and not see much effect.  If your focus is solely on the effects, then it is sensible to become depressed and quit.

Change your focus to the activity and the people. Share your joy and peace with the people you are working with. As I help people improve their farms and create new enterprises, I try to do everything with peace and joy.  Then, if government, or weather, or big companies thwart their efforts, they aren’t as likely to give up.  They not only have skills, but a little peace and joy to help them continue their battle to improve the world.

Sure it makes no logical sense to have peace and joy when the world seems to be conspiring against you. But it is exactly that inner peace and joy which enables you to continue your efforts and become victorious.

Laugh and relax.  You know what makes the world better.  And you’ll just stick with it no matter what the world throws up against you.

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