We live in chaotic times. Governments are sending out conflicting messages about how to deal with the Corona virus. Citizens and police are doing unspeakable things. People seem to base decisions and opinions on their relationships to a particular political party rather than giving thoughtful consideration to what is going on in front of them. If you follow me on medium.com you will see several articles discussing America’s Core Values: freedom, equality and Justice. We no longer seem to have a common understanding of what these values mean. We will have to come to grips with these concepts and why we have lost our understanding of them if we will build a life of harmony.
Living a harmonious life or having harmony in your life means a situation in which things seem right together. A utopian ideal is a society in which everyone lived together in perfect harmony. Cambridge Dictionary define harmony as agreement. The combination of separate but related parts in a way that uses their similarities to bring unity. Much as the founding fathers defined their core values of freedom, equality and justice, it included an America where all are living in harmony. This is still a long way off, but it is a concept that we should all cherish.
What can we do to live a more harmonious life in this chaotic world? The first step is to recognize the challenge and then take steps to bring more harmony into our lives.
1. Be the person who looks for the good in everyone. If someone has a distinct point of view, try to understand why they see things differently without condemning them. It will surprise you how much overlap there is in two opposite points of view. You can build on this commonality through understanding and perhaps bring more harmony into both of your lives.
2. Be compassionate. Compassion is an emotion that affects our lives. Harmony requires a lot of understanding. Rather than getting angry, try to relax into breathing. It will take your mind off the anger and allow you to imagine you are in the shoes of the person who made you angry and help you find compassion.
3. Set aside time for you. Use it to meditate, relax or to take a walk outside and be mindful of the surrounding beauty. Soak it up and hold on to it. Take a bath. We don’t do this as often as we should because we want a quick shower so we can reenter the fray. A hot bath takes a little longer, but it allows your muscles to relax.
4. Remember that you can only control what you can control and let go of the rest. Harmony comes with working on you, not worrying about your boss or your coworkers. They are out of your control. This doesn’t mean that you should be unsympathetic and uncaring, just that they are not yours to control.
5. Learn how to communicate and listen. Remember, even though we aren’t saying anything, we are communicating through our body language. Visualize a couple at the breakfast table. He has the paper open in front of his face between them, wide open. This tells his partner something. I don’t want to talk to you right now. A regular dose of this does not bode well for a harmonious relationship. Be aware of all the means of communication that are happening.
6. Harmonious living starts with you. Be a positive person. Look always first for the positive.
7. Live your life. If you try to be what someone else wants you to be, it will be difficult to live harmoniously. This doesn’t mean that your life’s journey will always be the same and won’t require you to make changes. Life is full of surprises. It is our life and we must live it.
Norman Vincent Peale said. “The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.”
Robert Baden-Powell Said. “The study of Nature brings into a harmonious whole the questions of the infinite, the historic and the microscopic as part of the Great Creator’s work.”