If we start with the premise that we are a failure, it’s easy enough to notice all the supporting evidence.
If we reflexively lean toward the narrative that a group of people is to be feared, than everyone who resembles them–or who has a “funny name”– starts to look like the enemy.
If we begin with the fundamental notion that we live in an world of scarcity, than we can only see that our gain comes at someone else’s expense.
And, to paraphrase the old saying, if we believe that we have the right hammer–and it’s our only tool–than all we see are an awful lot of nails that need pounding.
Of course we can choose to believe that we are enough, that we have enough, that we do enough. And then we start to see someone who makes mistakes, not is a mistake.
We can decide to believe that all human beings are born good and inherently worthy of dignity and respect. And then we bear witness to our common humanity and find ourselves standing on the side of love and forgiveness more often than the side of hate and judgment.
We can believe in a world of abundance. And slowly, but surely, potential reveals itself and a veritable banquet of possibilities emerge–none of which require us to beat out anyone else.
The stories we tell ourselves matter.
Believing is seeing, not always the other way around.
What we believe, we become.
A version of this post originally appeared at http://www.stevenpdennis.com