The world is a big place with lots of little unknown nooks and crannies that can contain no limit of surprises; good and bad. We live in the most globally connected time in history and every day we are able to see more, know more, and do more. But all this awareness seems to only bring fear and distrust. Fear of the unknown is not a new concept, not even close, but it has recently been taken to new levels. Individuals suspect everything and everyone of ulterior motives and in response, they are shutting their doors to anything new. Familiarity is comfortable and it's forcing people into their own little corners of the globe and into their head. But this comfort is a lie.
There is plenty to fear in the world today. There are scary places ruled by scary governments filled with scary people whose very existence seems to threaten your comfort. There are diseases, wars, and hatred that claim lives every day. There are things outside of your control like the economy, the job market, and the housing crisis that determine such large portions of your life that some days it feels like all of it. There are all the smaller, personal things that rule your day to day lives like how you stubbed your toe yesterday and it still hurts or how somebody must have banged your car with their door because that dent was definitely not there last week. It's so easy to get caught up in all of these things that you forgot how absolutely, irrevocably, beautiful life is.
Dr. Seuss said it best, "because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing."
The greatest lesson of all is to remove yourself from your own head. The world exists outside of your, or anyone else's, life and just being able to take part in it is a treat that should be treasured. There are plenty of scary things and personal hang-ups that make us afraid to step outside, but there are also amazing people and beautiful places that make the risk oh, so worth it. There are sunsets and sunrises, kind souls and genuine people, endless spaces and vast cultures just waiting to be explored. And I'll tell you a little secret that so many people seem to have forgotten; the good vastly outweighs the bad.
The good is every smile shared with a stranger, every tail wag of a happy dog, every morning that you wake up and get out of bed. It's your morning bowl of bran flakes, because that means you have something to eat, it's your hour long commute to work, because you have a job and a car to get you there, it's the furthest parking space in the lot, because it means you have legs capable of walking. Because it is only when you have recognized the good fortune in your everyday life, that you are truly free to pursue the rest of life's brilliance.
Above photo: Consolation Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (June 28, 2016) - Photo taken with Canon EOS 60D, f/5 @ 10 mm, 1/1000, ISO 100, No Flash