Hollywood abuse allegations. Capitol Hill scandals. The Houston flood. Wildfires in California. The Las Vegas shooting. Am I the only one who feels like we have been drowning in bad news lately? Worse, there seems to be no end in sight.
As a counselor, I tread these waters daily, but lately it is getting more difficult to keep my head above water. We hear about news much quicker and much more often than any generation in history.(1) Even though there are times I wish life were a bit simpler, I do realize each generation has its own struggles. In particular, I find that our current generation is struggling in the arena of hope. I think that our fast-paced, media-obsessed culture has a lot to do with this. There seems to be a lot wrong in the world today, and there are days it seems as though I can’t find any good news. But I’ve recently been inspired by a few books I’ve been reading, and they’ve caused me to pause and think, “Am I looking for bad news?”.
I would like to encourage you to take a minute to focus on something completely different, something other than the constant news cycle of the world, and something that stirs and reassures us in a purposeful way. With the coming New Year, I believe there is no better time to center our attention on something inspirational. Here are 3 ways to inspire hope this New Year.
1. Take a Break from Social Media
Good news travels fast, but bad news gets more clicks. This is the motto of our age. Our lives are on constant alert and we have little down time between breaking news. This is made more difficult by the fact that bad things are always happening to good people. We all know great people that got something they didn’t deserve. Furthermore, news has the amazing ability to influence a person’s self-perception and can also affect self-esteem.(2) There is also research showing us that social media in particular can act as poison on our emotional state; like leading us into depression and anxiety.(3) Taking a break from the social media can create great opportunities for us to fully enjoy the relationships around us, and to relax and take a breather from checking to see how many people “liked” what we posted.
2. Rest and Reflect
I’m convinced this is one of the most overlooked areas of American culture. We are constantly on the move, and our lives reflect the burnout that often accompanies moving at such high speeds. I frequently tell my clients that the smallest malfunction can crash a plane that’s flying 2,000 mph. I encourage them to consider that they may be flying too high, too fast, and for too long. Does your life feel like it’s going 2,000 mph? Can one mistake or missed maneuver tank your entire day or week? If so, you’re not planning enough down time, you’ve got too much on your plate, or both. Every day we need to be able to relax and recuperate. Every day.
In the morning, after the kids go to bed, during your lunch hour—find time to recharge. Maybe that means enjoying a good book or going on a walk. Creating healthy boundaries is not just for relationships, it’s also for time.
3. Have Faith
As a Christian, I hold a strong and passionate faith and I’m involved in my local church. One of the ways I make it through my day is by leaning on something greater than myself. This gives me the ability to see good in seemingly bad situations. I work with children who’ve lost their parents and I get to show them love, compassion, and care. I see marriages on the verge of divorce be brought back to life and renewed in love. I get to hear stories of courage and strength from those who’ve been abused and go on to find hope. God loves people and encourages those who follow him to help those who are suffering.
Maybe you’re thinking and feeling as though you’ve lost hope. I’d encourage you to place your trust in something bigger than yourself. You may find yourself feeling as though you’re in an emotional desert, but don’t let this rob you of your hope. I want to leave you with this hopeful quote from Eugene H. Peterson’s new book, As Kingfisher’s Catch Fire:
(2) Trepte, S., Schmitt, J. B., & Dienlin, T. (2016). Good News!: How Reading Valenced News Articles Influences Positive Distinctiveness and Learning From News. Journal Of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, And Applications, doi:10.1027/1864-1105/a000182
(3) Baker, Z. G., Krieger, H., & LeRoy, A. S. (2016). Fear of missing out: Relationships with depression, mindfulness, and physical symptoms. Translational Issues In Psychological Science, 2(3), 275-282. doi:10.1037/tps0000075
(4) Peterson, Eugene H. (2017). As King Fisher’s Catch Fire.
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Thank you to everyone who came out to support our first Peace Partnership night at the KC Mavericks on December 16 and our Donate & Save Event at Especially Jewelry throughout December! As a result of the Especially Jewelry promotion, a grand total gift of $865 was raised to further our mission!
PEACE PARTNERSHIP NIGHT AT THE KC MAVERICKS!
Tuesday, February 27th @ 7:05pm
Grab your family, friends, and co-workers and join us for our February Peace Partnership night at the Kansas City Mavericks. Tickets are $20 each and $7 of every ticket is a donation for Peace Partnership along with other fundraisers throughout the evening. Our goal is to sell 200 tickets! Purchase tickets here and enter the promo code: peace.
As we welcome the new year, we are so thankful to our peace partners. Your support of finances, prayers, and time have been instrumental in helping us create a place of healing and hope for our clients. We wish you a prosperous and healthy new year!
Special thanks go out this month to:
- Thank you to Especially Jewelry for choosing Peace Partnership as part of their Donate & Save Event. We are blessed by your sincere generosity and support.
- Thank you to our business partner, Kansas City Mavericks, for our continued partnership this year. We look forward to what the new year brings.
- AV Creations, thank you for your continued support.
- Paul and Angie Carroll, your generosity will give someone the opportunity to seek the help they need.
- Thank you to Jim Clayton, your thoughtfulness and support is appreciated.
- Don Collins, we are excited to grow our partnership with you. Thank you.
- Natalie Goe, thank you for joining us in our effort to create a better community, one family at a time.
- Thank you to Mike & Shannon Horsley, your gift will help change the course of a family’s life.
- Loretto Foundation, thank you for your generosity and interest in Peace Partnership.
- Thank you to our business partner, Midwest Accident Reconstruction Services, for your additional support. We are so grateful for all that you do.
- A special thank you to Craig & Lorie Rookstool, you have been instrumental in helping us create a safe place for children to heal.
- Glen & Shirley Posladek, thank you for your belief in our mission.
- Thank you to Zarda Bar-B-Q for joining us in making a difference in other’s lives.
- Thank you, J.E. Hefner, for your additional gift of support.
If you are interested in finding out how you can become a Peace Partner this year, don’t miss the chance to get involved. Please click on the link below to become a Partner. To host an event or take part in any of our upcoming activities, contact our Director of Development, Amy Henderson at 816-399-0530 or: firstname.lastname@example.org.