Our Worst Enemy [2017 Reflection]
As we come to the close of 2017, like many years past, a tradition descends upon us - the time for reflection. If I was to ask how 2017 was compared to years prior, it is almost certain that I would receive data skewing toward the negative. Violence, political unrest, religious uncertainty, division...there was plenty in 2017 to dislike. This post, is about none of those things.
At least, that is not what I choose to reflect on right now. I recognize that, historically, humanity's most heinous crimes are committed when one group is deemed the "other." Seen as stupid, evil, deplorable, racist, sexist, lower than human, etc. The list goes on, but the "other" is always established as an enemy that the righteous must conquer. And yet, this post is not about that. It's about the true enemy. Our worst enemy.
You. Me. Us. Our worst enemy is who we are as an individual. As cliche as it may sound, recognizing this is the key to lasting harmony and peace in the world, and for generations to come. I once heard it being said that every human being is a planet unto themselves. They have their own ecosystem, beliefs, principals and morals, and when they stumble across another planet (or human being), there is usually mutual respect and diplomacy, but sometimes, there is a clash of ideals. Still, to keep up with the allegory, Earth has little control over what Mercury does. Venus can't force a planet in a distant galaxy to alter its orbit because it believes that it has discovered the proper rotation and axial tilt.
In other words, the only one that can change their world, and how they respond to others, is you. One can argue that we're a lot closer to one another than that. Okay, sure, perhaps we're a solar system comprised of billions of planets in close proximity, the fact still remains that no one can change without their consent. No one.
In a time of anger and disdain, it's important to remember that we, as individuals, can still express love and compassion, no matter the circumstances. We can fight the warmongers if we choose. We can stand idly by, but the choice is ours alone to make, and we must live with the consequences of that choice. Whatever we decide to do or say, can we live with that choice? Was that sentence a reflection of you, or were you parroting? Who are you, exactly? Are you happy? Is there anything you can do to get you there? I believe in the saying, "You can't pour from an empty cup." Are you full? Or are you empty? Will 2017 be a memory to reflect upon, or a scar?
Do you have a plan for 2018? Not an ambition, or a lofty dream, I mean a plan. A detailed plan that will take you from A to B, from where you ARE, to where you want to BE? (I'm bringing out my inner Dr. Seuss it would seem)
Will 2018 be just like years prior, or will it be the start of a new and transforming journey? It is up to you, and it begins right now.
You can blame your troubles on everything. People, politics, religion, God, the Devil, destiny, fate, luck, etc. It doesn't matter. You decide what happens today, and your choices will shape tomorrow. You are your own worst enemy.
And I am my own, as well. I've become complacent in many ways, whether it's slacking on my writing, or letting myself go physically. It's easy to settle into a comfortable routine while the mind rages, telling me that I'm not done. That who I am now will be it until the day I die. I refuse this. I want to grow through the pain. I want to live! Not exist, but live! So I will begin today. I will start being accountable, today. I must defeat my enemy. I hope you can find the strength to defeat yours too.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to you all!