My grandmother would say this when my friends got into mischief when I was young. She never said it to me. I was too busy having fun, studying hard at school, playing the piano, and working on craft projects to get into mischief. However, these days I find this statement to be true not only about idle children but also about an increasing number of retirees. Those who do not have a plan, have lots of time on their hands, and who are bored, disgruntled, or disempowered often find less than constructive ways to spend their time.
I know someone who uses her increased free time to stoke a dispute with a neighbor. Surely there must be something better she could do than discuss her grievance with anyone who will listen and spend countless hours playing out in her head scenarios to even the score. Is the issue in dispute important to her? Yes. Is her approach to the situation constructive? No.
Is there a way I can intervene in the situation to help end this strife? Not without getting dragged through the mud myself. So what can I do? Hold a higher vision for both parties. It is amazing what the power of intention can do. By setting an intention, you take an idea and begin to turn it into reality. The strength of your vision does have an effect on others. Like prayer, intention is an unseen force that has a powerful effect. Prayer doesn’t change others, it changes us.
The same is true of intentions. We become more compassionate, more open, more resilient, and more determined when we set an intention whether it is for ourselves or for others. Why not set an intention for a positive outcome rather than a negative one? Why not use your time to be a force for good?
Having lost the majority of my family members to illness and accidents, I don’t want to waste a single moment of any day. I would rather look for ways to build bridges than to burn them. I would rather use my time to be kind, to empower others, to encourage, and to support the lives and dreams of others. I would rather find and create beauty in the world rather than focus my attention on the ugly, the crass, and the trivial. How about you?