The food you eat, the attitudes you carry, your affect towards the world around you. The people you affiliate with. The company you keep. Every meaningful thing we do in our life impacts not only our own well-being, but the world around us. You reflect what you immerse yourself in and expose yourself to. We’re absorbent creatures. We take in, and we exude. And so the cycle goes.
We are often a mirror to the world around us. Our affiliations matter. They can heal and they can harm. It can happen quickly, and it can also happen slowly or insidiously.
Generally speaking, people will take on some of the qualities and cultural values of the communities and people we affiliate with and are thusly influenced by. Part of the social dynamic of acceptance is reflecting what we see: echoing the norms, standards, and expectations of our tribes. A long time ago, this was a survival mechanism. The world today has gotten better at affording the luxury of critical thinking and safely departing archaic, outdated, or hurtful creeds. Sometimes we come to the realization that we don’t like what we see in the mirror that we are reflecting into the world. Sometimes we realize what we are surrounded by isn’t healthy or safe. And when that happens, we truly begin to recognize the value of that mirror and the importance in its care.
I previously blogged about the importance of the people you know and the unforeseen, unique ways it can impact life events, but that is only part of a bigger picture. Yes, having good people in your life is a fortunate and nice thing – no question about it. But when you have people like that around you, I believe that in turn, you are more likely to be influenced by their good deeds, their positive attitudes, their thoughtful ways. And you in turn are more likely to adopt and continue that practice in your own life – both towards your loved ones and maybe even towards people you don’t know as well. I believe this is not only how good, already existing communities are fostered, but also how good communities are grown and created. And this matters to me. This matters because I NEED to believe that there is good in the world.
The world can be an overwhelming place to anybody. Its challenges can seem isolating. Strife can make you feel alone despite being surrounded by people you care about, or despite the communities you are a part of. And this is something many of us will experience during times of hardship.
So, dear reader, when times are dark please try to remember some of the following quotes (got a candle theme going here!) about the goodness you may bring into this world and your communities:
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle” – Fracis of Assisi
“just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate thousands of other hearts” – Leo Tolstoy
“A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle” – Thomas Jefferson
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” – Edith Wharton
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it” – Margaret Fuller
“At night a candle’s brighter than the sun” – Sting
I am so thankful for the people in my life. I have a spouse who constantly challenges me to be better and impresses me endlessly with her drive to excel. I have thoughtful and compassionate friends who constantly surprise me in their kind and meaningful gestures. I am a part of some truly wonderful voiceover communities who remain endlessly supportive and encouraging of its members. I've read just how toxic some online voiceover communities can be at times, and I'm lucky to say that I haven't had to deal with any of that. All of these things serve as constant reminders to me to always try to do whatever I can to help lift up these groups that have endlessly done exactly that for me.
To my loved ones reading this: thank you for loving me and constantly showing it through the beautiful ways that you do.
To my friends reading this: thank you for constantly inspiring me to do better.
To my communities reading this: sometimes I’m more active in saying it than others, but I will always believe in you.
And to the rest of the world: look at what and who is around you. You are a product of your environment, and I hope you can make that environment one that you are proud to be a part of.
Tupac Shakur said:
“We gotta make a change. It’s time for us as a people to start making some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see, the old way wasn’t working. So it’s on us to do what we’ve got to do to survive.”
And I do believe our survival depends on it.
If you enjoy reading my blogs, I bet you'd like some of the other voice over blogs that I really love! Take a minute and check out these truly wonderful voiceover blogs. Reading these is always a big highlight in my busy life!