Insights: Dare Greatly

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Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of the world. With so many tragedies happening, from school shootings and the issues in Syria to the breakdown of our families, how do we hold a positive stance about our own lives and others? How do we continue to have hope for future generations?

At the same time, there are many people doing wonderful things in the world. I was at The Gray Event last weekend, put on by Chef Pascal, owner of Café Jardin at Sherman Gardens. Money from the event went to rescuing elephants in Thailand that are abused and putting them in an elephant sanitary. It was amazing the time and money that was spent to assist these animals.
Or people who go into places like Syria to help rescue residents from the bombings. Then there is the kindness of people who step up to help others, just because it is the right thing to do.

I do not know if we can make any sense of all the tragedies that we have experienced, not just in our own lifetime, but also throughout history. What we have is the choice of how we want to be in the world. We have options. We can complain and feel powerless and keep taking about it, or we can make some of the following choices.

1. Choose to do no harm to others in our own life and teach this to others.
2. Support a charity that works at helping others (including animals).
3. Get involved in a grassroots organization that is working to make a difference.
4. Make sure our choices are not supporting any illegal activities or harming others.

One of the key components in managing challenges in our world is to not move towards payback or endless complaining. Neither of these things bring about any changes. That time and energy can be put into making a difference.

Another issue which comes up when we deal with tragedies is that we can feel overwhelmed with negativity, so we shut down and become more self-protective. I can understand why we do this, but this is not helping anyone, especially ourselves.

The more open we can be, the more we can make a difference. Remember to keep focus on what is important, such as our relationships. Make a difference where you can. We all have something we can offer others. Do not give up hope. Never, give up hope.

I truly believe that one of the major issues in our society is how disconnected we have become. Maybe it is my age, but social media is causing a lot of these issues of disconnection.

“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives,” wrote Brene Brown in her book “Daring Greatly.” What an appropriate name for a book. We all need to dare greatly. This is how we are going to keep hope in this world.

It is knowing we connect to others, that we belong, that we can love and be loved. That is what matters. Keep believing in the fact we can all make a difference no matter what is going on in our world.

Contact Dr. Shelly Zavala at or [email protected].

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