Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted fifty years of his life. Muhammad Ali

I’ve been thinking about culture lately, we may think we aren’t affected by what others think but I think we are affected in ways we don’t readily recognize. We create a culture in our own family and we are around other people who influence us in different ways. There are cultures of excellence and there are cultures that don’t work as well to help people learn how to develop happy productive lives.

I love books and I think I have bought books at times in my life when instead of taking action I bought a book. This is why I have amassed such a collection of books on writing, art, and self-help. It was as if I thought by buying the books I would automatically move forward in my pursuit of being a better writer, artist, and person without actually doing the work. Instead of taking the afternoon to write or create art I would go to the bookstore and buy a book. These books have helped me in innumerable ways but they were also a way of putting off doing the practice of writing and art.

We become what we habitually do. We get better at what we practice, and the ideas we read about and listen to will form our worldview. We may wonder where some of the hopeless views are coming from but as Jordan Peterson says, the wonder isn’t why so many people are negative, or that not all societies work well, the wonder is that we aren’t all negative and living in societies that don’t work well.

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Theodore Roosevelt

What can we do to make our culture, and I mean the very smallest culture, our own daily practices better? We may wait our whole lives for other people to change, but we can make changes in how we act, how we treat others, what we hope for, work toward, and how we encourage others. We can be grateful for the beauty and bounty in our lives.

Individuals can choose to look on the bright side and even those who consider themselves perennial optimists may have trouble seeing the positive some days. I’ll say something to my husband and he’ll say, “You think you’re a positive person?” That is a question I’m not sure about. I want to be positive, I believe our attitude shapes our life and a better attitude leads to a better life.

A better attitude is, thinking the best about others and believing we can deal with and in many cases can overcome the obstacles we have to face in life. History is filled with challenges that have been faced and overcome. We have overcome things that generations before they were overcome, didn’t think it was possible to overcome. Things like slavery, disease, and abject poverty.

We have challenges to overcome in our time that may seem hopeless but won’t a good attitude, ingenuity, and the belief tomorrow can be better take us further than believing nothing can be done?

Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it. David Starr Jordan

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. Marcus Aurelius

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. Thomas Jefferson

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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