Native Americans believe that we are all connected through a huge web. The strands connect each of one of us to all other beings and things. Through this continual system of strands we are connected to every member of the human race and all things in our environment, no matter where they may be. A person in the United States is connected to another person in the Orient by strands that go from person to person to person, Much like the game “6 Degrees of Separation”.
This can be quite a humbling thought when you consider every action you take will eventually affect the world around you. Our actions will affect either our environment or other people. In some cases, it can drastically affect both. How we spend our money affects the economy of not only our economy, but the economies of other countries around the world. Our dependence on foreign oil boosts the economy of oil rich companies while restricting our own. Sending the majority of our manufacturing facilities to Mexico has raised the economy while burying our own. Products may be cheaper on the shelf, but with fewer jobs for the public at large, no one has the extra money to purchase them.
Our environment has also been affected in adverse ways. Not only do we release untold amounts of automobile emissions throughout the world on a daily basis, we release numerous other toxins without even thinking about it. For example, many people do not realize that when they throw away prescription or over the counter medications, if not disposed of properly can get released into our water sources. Tests have been performed on streams that shows increasing levels of prescription medications such as Prozac and other mood altering drugs. To prevent this influx of toxins into our streams, river and ground water, make sure to dispose of unneeded or expired medications properly. Never throw them in the trash. Instead, call your local hospital or doctor’s office and ask where you can take them. Many pharmacies have a drug disposal program where you can drop them off to be disposed of in the right way.
Another web affect the world around us is our moods. Have you ever noticed that when you smile at another person, more often than not, they will smile back. Depending on their mood, it may not last long, but it will be there for a second. Sometimes it will be there just long enough to lighten their mood enough that they will smile at others. Smiles are contagious. They spread like a virus, only in much more positive ways. If you smile at just one person, they may smile at two or more people. Those people will smile or wave at two more people and before you know it, your positive gesture has influenced a large group of people, most of which you don’t even know.
The same holds true for negative emotions. If you snap at someone out of anger, they too, will snap at others. Negativity breeds more negativity. Learn to check your words before lashing out in anger. If the person talking to you the cause of your ill mood? If not, don’t punish them for another person’s mistake. We tend to forget that our actions, both positive and negative, influence others around us. A happy person can enter a room and within a few short minutes have the whole room smiling. The opposite is also true. A person who is sad or upset can enter a room and reduce the positive atmosphere to a minimum in almost no time at all.
Our moods also affect our health. People who are angry or under massive amounts of stress from overwork are known to be at high risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and anxiety attacks. Learning to control these outside factors can reduce the risks associated with these diseases. Managing work and home life giving each equal time and making relaxation a priority will produce positive lifestyle changes that can impact a person’s health in a positive way. These positive changes will affect their health as well as their relationships with their family, friends and co-workers.
Employees in a workplace that keep a positive attitude and outlook about their job can increase a company’s productive. Interaction between people in an office setting can establish a positive or negative environment. The connection between people in the office mirrors connections throughout other aspects of their lives. If a person is having a good day at work, he or she may make another coworker’s day go better. Not only is their mood elevated, their coworker may go home and carry the positive attitude with them making the time the spend with their family more loving.
Every breath we take, every action we perform impacts the world around us. It may not seem likely and to some it may be irrelevant. In either case, it is true. If you don’t believe it, try this interesting experiment. Take two days out of your week. The first day, show no emotion. Don’t smile and frown as much as possible. Take notice of the responses you get. The next day, smile at everyone you meet, even the grumpy neighbor who yells at your dog for being a nuisance. Tell them to have a nice day. Smile at a stranger and open the door for an elderly person in front of you. Notice the responses you get. It will be like night and day. You will even come across people who will look at you funny. Rest assured they will be wondering what you laced your coffee with that morning!
Look around you and actually see the world around you. Notice how many things come in contact and are connected to one another. The birds, the trees, the air we breathe and the water that flows in and around us. it’s all connected.
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