“Every small moment of joy provides you an opportunity to choose to be your better self!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
A Happy Thanksgiving to my many American friends!
I hope your day allows you to be grateful for the opportunity you have to bring some clarity to your purpose and optimism to your actions. That can be particularly difficult during these most complex of times. In my case, moments of morning clarity provide me with the opportunity for optimism and a foundation for hope. Each morning when I am not traveling, I choose to chase the sunrise during my 7km walk – it’s a key part of how I set my mind for the day ahead. I encounter moments like this as I start my trek.
Yesterday, during the final kilometer of my walk, I came across the “rickety bridge” – it’s a small, ridiculous contraption that one must use to cross a creek that is perhaps 15 feet wide. I am convinced that it will collapse one day, launching me into a moment of hilarity.
Yesterday, that moment presented me with a special gift.
There, on a tree on the other side, was this glorious owl, perhaps 10 feet up, staring at me. I stopped and didn’t move. Neither did the owl. I must have had two minutes to carefully take out my phone and take a few pictures, and then a few more moments to engage in a staring contest with this wonderful creature.
And at that moment, I found and set my optimistic tone for the day. I reminded myself that I could go through the day by choosing to be my ‘better self.’
In today’s world, we are surrounded by those who choose to fill their day with rage, grievance, hate, and anger. They have chosen to live their life defined not by the opportunities they will pursue but by trying to chase the ‘greatness’ they perceive they once had. And instead of making things great again, they end up going down a path in which they drag down not only themselves but those around them.
And then there are those who choose not to participate. I’m reminding myself each and every day that I am that person during my morning walk, and yesterday, I found some clarity in my actions. Last evening, I posted this note to my Twitter account.
As things of great controversy progress on this site at an accelerated pace, I have decided to scale back my usage of Twitter, including limiting posting to my account @jimcarroll.
I have been online since 1982; I have been on Twitter since 2009. In that respect, my time here to date is but a small subset of my total time in the collaborative universe. When a place of joy and useful insight starts to shift into a location that seems certain to quickly become very much the opposite, it is time to take a break. For me, that time is now; for others, as well.
Twitter has been a remarkable tool and has the potential to remain so into the future. I am not yet confident given recent developments that it will become a viable town square.
I will continue to post my Daily Inspiration to my timeline – I know some of my followers enjoy it. I will continue to occasionally check in to track health, science, business, and news accounts that I respect and have come to trust. But at the same time, I am rapidly depleting my “Followed” list as part of my effort to scale back. I won’t be engaging here; I will respond to DMs.
In the meantime, you can follow me on Substack, Medium, Instagram, Facebook LinkedIn and elsewhere. You can find this list, if you are so inclined, at: https://linktree.jimcarroll.com
Small acts like this can define us. At any given time, we can choose to be our better selves. In moving away from Twitter, I am doubling down on a fast-emerging alternative known as Mastodon. Over there I can be found at https://beingoblio.com/@jimcarroll. Yesterday morning, when I first had a glance, I did not see a rage-filled hate Tweet. I saw someone posting about …. moss.
As in, that stuff that grows on the ground. It turns out there is a hashtag, #Mosstodon, in which people share pictures of … moss. It’s a different vibe! I’m in love with it already, and during my walk about 30 minutes from now, I will keep my eye out, not only for an owl but for moss. I am optimistic that I will find some.
And so on this American Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the opportunity we all have to define our day with optimism and hope. To my American friends, I hope that this day provides you with moments of gratitude and thanks, and will allow you to do that as well.