This shit is likely to be existential, so hold on for it. (If you’re reading this blog, you should have known by now what you’re getting into anyway.)
So, I am at a point where the following can best explain my ideas on existence: I am a unique composition of atoms, and I am composed of the same primary atoms as everything else on Earth. I careen through the galaxy at 67,000 mph on a giant rock with a molten core. I do not follow one single dogma. I believe that I give and intake energy, and because everything else on Earth is made up of the same primary atoms as me, it too gives and receives energy. The energy I put into the world will be returned to me.
It’s part of the reason I do what I do—aside from the fact that I love it. I don’t work with Savannah/Chatham County youth because I make big bucks or get huge recognition. I work with the Savannah/Chatham County youth because they inspire me. I give them my best, most positive attitude and energy. I do this because I hope:
a) I will encourage, inspire, and teach them;
b) make them feel important; and
c) they will reflect that positivity and inspiration to other people.
(If you want a warm-fuzzy representation of this filled with über cute, Haley Joel Osment explains it way better than I do.)
Point is, if everyone puts positive energy into the world, it is bound to get back to everyone eventually. This is not dissimilar to former religious ideas I’ve had about “God Works in Mysterious Ways” and “The Power of Prayer”, and yet, to me it is entirely different now that I’m no longer religious.
When I was following the Christian dogma, I was asking a deity to do something for me. I didn’t necessarily even have to do anything about the situation other than pray about it. This isn’t uniform across the board, and varies on personal dogma, but I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Well, all you can do is pray about it now.” This is the epitome of giving up hope. It’s akin to saying, “Well, you sure did your best, but clearly it wasn’t good enough. Now you’ve got to turn it over to someone else.”
While I’m all for admitting one’s own limitations and the power in asking for help in a situation, I am also a former art student, and I know that you are never done working on something. It is never perfect. To me, turning it over to God in prayer feels like sending a letter to Santa Claus—hoping for, but not exactly expecting something in response.
The way I think about things now, I focus on putting my best effort into everything I do. Each day I am the best that I can be. I put forth into the world all the good things I want for myself. I exude positive energy.
This incorporeal energy is every bit as important as physical energy to me. Energy is the strength or vitality required for sustaining activity. We take in energy all the time, in the form of food, rest, inspiration. Energy gets us charged. Sometimes, an hour and a half of teaching can give me more energy than eating or sleeping. Because I am inspired by the kids’ positive attitude, I want to continue working, producing positive energy of my own.
When faced with a problem, positive energy gives me the strength to push on. A kind word can renew my zeal for a task. I’m not turning to anyone else for help as a last resort, I am finding the strength to go on through the positive energy someone else has passed on to me—or, lack the strength because I have negative energy weighing down on me.
If I turn to my coworker and say, “Kim, you did a great job today,” she is going to take that energy into her the same way as if I had turned to her and said, “Kim, you really suck today.” She may not use it, but she has taken it into herself, either to bottle up and save, or reflect out later. (If you still need visual representation, you can get it from Scrubs, or Yoda.)
Now, when I have a problem, I don’t solve it in a letter to Santa Claus. Instead, I give and take to the best of my ability. My life now feels more like communicating in a critique group or at a meeting—I am constantly surrounded by incoming and outgoing energies, where multiply ideas and attitudes are shared and communicated. My ideas are directly received by another person, and their ideas are likewise conveyed to me. It’s give and take.
Why do I bring all of this up? I’ll continue that in a second post and give your brain time to rest.