Written by Aaron Rose
Previously published on One Idea Away | September 25, 2019
At a time when all we need to do is scroll through Instagram to see more news of death and destruction, it can feel overwhelming to know where we’re meant to contribute and to stay hopeful in the process.
We can feel like there’s a million causes to participate in, all of them needing dire attention right now, and none of them fully solvable.
The sheer volume of crisis and the swiftness with which we can see it online can send us from compassion to overwhelm in seconds. If it’s really so bad, what difference can we make? If the data already says we’re doomed, why start? And if we do start . . . where? Who are we to trust on what needs the most attention right now?
As a young person, I used to feel completely burdened by the state of the world. My empathetic heart struggling to hold space for all who suffered, my creative mind stretching to problem-solve on so many issues. I worked as a community organizer on every possible issue, from food sovereignty to racial justice to environmental protection.
Despite my meditation practice, I was often in a highly reactive state, bouncing around as if in a pinball machine, from one crisis to the next; and then sometimes shutting down entirely, out of exhaustion and overwhelm.
I teetered on the edge of burnout for years, until I implemented several perspective shifts that finally gave me the ability to both change and enjoy the world at the same time. I now work as a transformational coach for public figures, as an inclusivity consultant, and conflict transformation guide. While it’s always evolving, I now feel sturdy and flexible in my work, able to care for myself, and confident I’m making the contribution I’m meant to, regardless of how many other options exist.
Here are five perspectives to help you stay hopeful and make your unique contribution to our world . . .