A Mindset That I Believe Can Positively Change The World

I tried to write this blog a few nights ago, but right as I clicked "publish," my wifi disconnected and my work was lost. Originally, this piece was titled: "The Worst Theme of 2017." Looking back, I'm glad my Internet went out; spreading negativity is not my aim. So here's my second attempt.

Let me begin by stating that self-care and self-respect are important, without a doubt. But I think we, as a society, have a bit of a muddy vision when it comes to the phrase "love yourself." Too often this phrase translates to "treat yourself" or "put yourself first." Again, there are occasions where these may very well be acceptable or necessary in your life. 

But, I would like to argue that putting yourself first-- your ideas, your wants, your opinions -- isn't usually the most effective way to make the world a better place. 

Every morning, I try to read from a book with a daily quote from Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta). Today, January 6th, the quote reads: 

The wife of a famous Italian politician asked me: "When will poverty be over?" I replied, I believe poverty will be over when you and I share of ourselves, of what we have and of what we are. Let us give until it hurts.

Imagine if moments of giving and kindness weren't considered extraordinary. This is my image of an ideal world: people doing good because it's the right thing to do. Rather than looking at the massive picture and seeing how difficult it is to change the mindset of an entire planet, we can each take small steps in our day-to-day lives to improve our treatment of others, and, in turn, improve the treatment of others to ourselves. 

I'm not the first person who's thought of this notion ("If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change."), but I think it's a powerful concept that bears repeating.

Happy 2018, and I hope we can all continue to look out for our neighbors. :)