Change is often a good idea but not always. Sometimes changes are forced upon us and we have to choose how we respond. Lately it seems there are new instructions every week as to what we can do and how to do it. Nobody imagined that a new Roaring ’20s would involve all the roaring and anger that is displayed in today’s society but if you spend any time on social media or watching news sources you will quickly get caught up in it. I recently heard the term ‘doom scrolling’ used to describe  browsing through all the negativity that has flooded our devices.

The challenge for each of us is how are you going to respond to everything around us. Are you going to add to the roaring or are you going to show kindness, understanding and empathy? You don’t have to agree with someone to be kind to them. You don’t have to experience the same situation to understand that someone is hurting. A little bit of compassion can go a long way to diffuse the anger and stress that surrounds our world.

The big question is how do you do that. How do you remain positive, kind and compassionate when those qualities are in short supply around you? Here is my suggestion: the more you give it the more chance it will return to you. Find ways to reach out to neighbors, leaders, coworkers and strangers. It’s hard to share a smile when we are all masked up but that just means we need to vocalize our greetings and take time to listen.

You also need to take time for yourself, to recharge and de-stress. My favorite way to do this is with a good book or puzzle, but maybe for you it involves taking a walk in nature or relaxing with a movie. Whatever it is use the time to dwell on something inspiring and uplifting. There is enough angst in the world right now that when I want to escape it, I want to read or watch a story where everything ends happily.

If you are struggling to find some stories to escape into, come to the library and we can help you find the book or movie that will give you a moment to relax and enjoy. (We also have a good collection of jigsaw puzzles.)