During the festive season, ordinary streets and buildings are lit up by hundreds of tiny fairy lights. One or two strings of lights would have little impact but as hundreds and thousands of lights go on, for a few short weeks, we create a magical world.
In the same way, a little bit of goodwill when brought to our workplaces, our communities, our families and ourselves, has the power to transform our world. When many of us bring goodwill to bear, the changes can be remarkable.
When we feel out of sorts and ill-tempered, we fall to blaming and criticising what is before us: our circumstances, our environment, our leaders, our co-workers, our loved ones, ourselves.
Through the filter of ill-temper other people are rude and uncaring and the world seems full of potholes and bumps.
But then goodwill rises.
Our hearts expand, our load lightens and the world transforms. We breathe a little easier. The world seems to spin a little slower on its axis and space opens up in our mental landscape.
The tautness we carry in our forehead, neck, shoulders, stomach, fingers or calves releases and we feel a little softer in our skin.
And people change. Faults turn into foibles. The world stops revolving around the me that feels wounded or attacked and instead we feel the humanity in the caring and sharing, the strife and the woe.
Those difficult people are suddenly just like us, doing the best they can. The annoying habits become endearing. Resilience shines through stories of hardship and terror.
And how do we get to a feeling of goodwill I hear you ask?
It is what remains when the mind is free and clear. When the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ fall away. When we are graced with the knowing to embrace what is rather than worrying about what isn’t.
And in that gentle place of goodwill, we soften towards the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.’ Turning away from slights and hurts, giving them no dwelling place in our hearts, letting them glance off us, we return to that peaceful, easy feeling that refreshes and renews ourselves and others. The more goodwill we extend, the more goodwill shows up.
Imagine a world illuminated with goodwill.