Since I began writing my daily journal of grace, I have been waking naturally and very early, even before my alarm. Well rested, I slowly awake, nudged by diverse pleasant thoughts and feelings. I’ve just been thinking about what made me feel so good about the conference I’d just attended. It wasn’t just about having my mind stimulated or meeting new friends and sharing ideas.
My mind has been focusing on why, despite the gloomy picture of biodiversity deterioration, I felt it ended on an upbeat note. I believe it was more to do with hope, a collective gathering of hope. I feel that any emotion that links two or more people together amplifies that feeling. The collective sum of that positivity increases exponentially. It is the same with a negative feeling, and the exponentially amplified level of negativity that results would be terrible to behold. I have observed that violent feelings have so much more energy and rapidly gain momentum. I have witnessed the worldwide whirlwind of hate generated quite recently, and it recalled the stoking of hate by one man and one group of people from another time, though not so long ago. It bothered me so deeply –- that particular toxin once again released into our atmosphere, its energy cumulatively enhanced, spreading its malevolence on a larger, wider, and deeper scale than it had the first time it was released — that it affected my sleep.
But let me return to pleasanter, calmer, and more peaceful thoughts — to good things, to the many wonderful things to be grateful for. This morning I am grateful to have hope and to share in the collective hope — hope en masse — that we can, each in our own small way, make a difference. No matter how minor.
My day has been graced by a most welcome gift. I am thankful for my friend Bituin, who has just brought back to me so many pleasurable memories of places and things that I loved and still do, by sending me the international edition of Kateigaho. I shall be reading it over and over again, and with each reading, yearning to go back there, back to live to be surrounded by beauty in all aspects of daily life — to my beloved Japan. Dios ti agngina, Bi. ‘Thank you,’ in Ilocano, with its literal meaning — to me with my poor grasp of my parents’ tongue –- ‘God will be the One to appraise [my thankfulness],’ ‘only God fully realises the worth [of your gift].’
I have mentioned before that I regard friends as angels sent from above, with a divine mission to offer with much grace just the thing one needs at just the right time. And it has always been so, with friends who have appeared into my life wherever in the world I have landed — a total stranger in strange lands.
So it was with Arcie, Louella, Bituin, and Vivian, and my ‘mother’ Hiroko in Tokyo; Okamatsu-san and family and the Okuyama clan, in particular Shunzo and wife Miyako in Yuzawa in the Snow Country of Northeastern Honshu. And much later in other countries, Patricia, Rona, Gillian, and now Hanna. And I find that friends with whom one has lost touch reappear, once again with gracious gifts of sensible, calming words and comfort and empathy and companionship. Not to mention inspiration. Thank you to my friend Andy for inspiring me with her gratitude log and, with her appreciation of my first week of gratitude, the encouragement to continue with this one for a year. Thank you to Patricia, my laughter angel, and Norma, my plant-lover friend, for taking up the challenge, and to my cousin-sister Rae for challenging me and starting me on this path to thankfulness. I am truly grateful to all my friends — friends in the widest sense of the word, which includes all my family as well — for being my companions in our lifelong journey of discovery.
Hope and thankfulness and lovingkindness en masse can make a massive difference in our world, and can make a shield effective against the negativity that can consume and obscure with its malevolence the beauty of our pleasant world.