In Search of the Average Person

As we enter what could arguably be our most frenzied and stressful time of year, it’s entirely possible that someone you know – maybe your neighbour … possibly even yourself – will quietly begin a desperate attempt to not collapse under the added pressure this season brings to the average person – assuming, of course, there still is such a person.

Like no other time in our history, the modern world has been propelled through a dizzying array of technological advances, scientific breakthroughs, human tragedies, tumultuous economics, and increasingly alarming climate instabilities. And if that isn’t quite enough, rarely does a day go by wherein our senses aren’t further assaulted by status updates on current wars, threats of terrorism, political corruption, ethnic cleansing, social insurgency, or just plain ol’ murder and mayhem somewhere – often complete with video footage, eye-witness accounts, and the promise of a‘full report at eleven’ … as if to suggest we should eagerly await further gruesome details. And perhaps some people do.

How Does It Affect You?

In the face of all this chaos, can there really be an ‘average person’ anymore? Aren’t we each struggling on a personal level to find a way to process this daily barrage of ‘information overload’ we’re forced to endure? This sensory deluge affects each of us differently, depending on the lens through which we focus. Some people are disturbingly captivated by tragedy, some are horrified, others are simply numbed … and there are a host of other reactions that fit in-between these extremes – including being somewhat indifferent.

It’s even entirely possible that the majority of us have become so accustomed to these types of news stories we’re actually oblivious to how they are subconsciously affecting our own emotional well-being.

We Can Depend on Each Other …

More and more often, we hear about someone who’s had a complete mental and emotional melt-down … becoming violent and irrational, and tragically taking people over the edge with them. It’s as if their entire coping mechanism simply shuts down and they just can’t manage for one moment longer.

It’s obvious how critical it is that we learn to balance emotional overwhelm with an equal portion of positively-grounded, healthy and life-affirming energy. While it’s easy enough to say “the government should establish some sort of assistance,” that’s really a cop-out. For a variety of reasons, not everyone going through emotional struggles will reach out to a government agency for help – so as a society, we need to make sure this supportive energy is made manifest in our own lives.

Can You Lead by Example?

We can actually become the conduit for someone’s return to balance, and it wouldn’t even take much effort on our part – we could first become more kind and loving to ourselves, so that we can show more compassion to people around us … whether we know them or not. We can actively forgive those who may have slighted or hurt us, allowing that people learn and grow from their mistakes. We can lead by example, becoming a role model through investing some time as a volunteer in support of our communities or service clubs. These are just a few ways we can help people (and ourselves) start to feel connected to the more affirming aspects of living in today’s crazy world – ways to help create some balance against the constant reports of tragedy and despair.

What’s Your Plan?

What strategies do you use to ensure your emotional equilibrium is balanced and protected from erosion? What growth can you introduce to your own life that will help you become part of the change you want to see in the world? What seeds of support can you sow to help someone find their centre? Remember that whenever you’ve had just about all you can take … you can always try giving.

… and as you consider this, remember to stay focused on the Good Things in Life!

Posted in Things To Ponder ... permalink

About Lily-Ann MacDonald

Lily-Ann MacDonald is a fully-trained Certified Life Coach and author, whose engaging articles encourage readers to reconsider their perspective on a wide range of personal growth and social development topics. Her comfortable narrative puts the reader at ease, while giving them food for thought. To find out more about how to work with her, visit and get better acquainted.


In Search of the Average Person — 16 Comments

  1. Thank you Lily-Ann for reminding us to stay balanced, positive, and grateful during the Holiday Seasons. The strategies I use typically involve various forms of mindfulness meditations boosted with knowledge of neuroplasticity and New Thought. If I am triggered, I politely step away and return to the scenario through mindfulness meditation, when I can be in a space of compassion and understanding. Interestingly, when I enter this space, scenarios soften and anxieties lessen. Thank you for this post!

    • Hi, Ang …

      I’m just turning on to that Mindfulness Meditation concept, but I think I can understand how you would be able to use it to balance out the stresses of the season – or any other stresses, for that matter. It’s such an interesting approach, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it. To have that kind of command over your ’emotion filters’ seems like it would be a great benefit to achieving serenity – and it sounds like that’s what you’re saying.

      It’s great food for thought … Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


  2. Great article Lily-Ann and perfect timing:) Although we would all like to be balanced, warm, patient, and giving especially during the festive holiday season, outside circumstances can start to build, sneak in, and overtake the positives of the season…. I try to stay consistant throughout the year, by exercising daily, stopping off at my church to reflect a few times a week, and purposefully be aware of my thoughts.. When I have learned to respond to my thoughts after reflecting instead of quickly reacting, life has become so much of a “joy” I am sure for the others around me too!! :) Live Life with Purpose,, Happy Holidays, Anthony

    • Hi, Anthony …

      If only the Christmas spirit would last the whole year through, yes? It sounds as if you have a great routine for keeping your equilibrium balanced … and it definitely helps if we can be purposefully aware of our thoughts – well said.

      It’s good to see you here … hope you can drop by again. And if not, I wish you and yours a blessed, safe and bountiful Christmas season!!


  3. Hi Lily-Ann, since doing a daily gratitude ritual I manage to maintain my perspective on life and appreciate all I have. This keeps me grounded and helps me appreciate others and show them love. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of giving.

    • Hi, Claudia …

      There’s no doubt that a daily gratitude ritual will keep us grounded and mindful of the world around us. I’ve kept a form of gratitude journal for awhile now and, like you, I find that it really does fortify my appreciation of the countless blessings in my life. This helps to keep me calm and receptive to the needs of other people, and that makes it easier to show kindness and compassion – both of which are in deep demand at this time of year, especially.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit my site and read my article … I appreciate your comments. Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season!


  4. Hi Lily-Ann,

    This reminds me to lead by example, yes and to really get in touch with how I am being to myself and shining that out on the world.

    As always I look forward to your writing – you have a beautiful way with words.



    • Hello, Dawn …

      Thank you for your very kind remarks … they are so much appreciated. 😀

      One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn so far is that Love is totally an inside job … and if I’m to become the change I want to see in the world, my contribution has to come from my heart, because that’s the core of my universe. It’s my only hope of being authentic with my intentions. As long as I remain mindful of this, the energy I put out there will be life-affirming, kind and compassionate. I think I don’t quite deliver on this every single time, but mostly I do pretty well … I’ll keep working on it, anyway.

      Here’s hoping the holiday season brings you great joy …


  5. Hi Lily-Ann,

    Super post, very well presented, it rocks and so do you!

    The Christmas season used to feel like a huge leech sucking all of my energy, patients, and goodwill … I decided to stop the madness within (all the time) by affirming that I will receive my experiences with ease and joy instead of resistance, frustration and irritation as a part of my daily Spiritual practice.

    I increased the number of times I take yoga classes, and became the observer in my life which allows me to pump my brakes as needed and shift with the quickness when I see my thermometer rising using music (mostly jazz) as bridge from aggravation, frustration and a short fuse to a more peaceful productive place.

    Live in the light,

    • Hi, Lyndah …

      You’re really speaking my language, here. There’s nothing like music – whether jazz or blues, or any other idiom for that matter (but for sure, jazz!) – to soothe the savage b(r)east …

      I like the analogy of pumping your brakes when the tension starts to rise … I live in a city with the second worst traffic congestion in all of North America, so that sort of car metaphor really resonates with me.

      I’ve been looking into ‘mindful meditation’ lately, and I’m trying to work that into my daily routine. I think we have to stay aware of what we focus on, and be very deliberate about what kind of energy we attract. I’m glad that yoga works for you, and that you’re ready to take on the Christmas season! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment … much appreciated.


  6. Thank you for this Lily-Ann. Good to be reminded to think outside of yourself and consider others. To keep my own personal balance, I just to stay as positive as I can and try to put into the world the same feelings I want to receive back. Usually when, I put out misery I get misery back, so why do it?

    • Hi, Misty …

      Why, indeed? And yet … so many people do. I have an elderly neighbour who loves to sit and chat, but he is so constantly negative about so many things, it’s often hard to visit with him – even though I have a great affection for both him and his wife (who is equally negative). I often wonder if they were always this jaded, or if it just came upon them gradually … but either way, I make a point of simply not challenging most of what they say. They’re not receptive to other opinions, so I simply nod and stay quiet. They do have other redeeming qualities …

      In a way, though, it’s a good reminder to closely monitor my own thoughts and attitude … because I don’t want to invite their kind of gloom into my life. So, like you, I try to stay positive and be open to good energy – I do believe we attract what we focus on.

      Thanks for your comment … I’m glad you stopped by.


    • Hi, Carrie …

      Thanks – I’m glad you were able to stop by. It’s always nice to hear from you.

      We’ve entered into the season for giving, I know … but what a different world it would be if we could find a way to carry that giving frame of mind into the rest of the year, don’t you think? And not even always material giving – because it’s just as important to give of our time, or even intangibles like respect or a bit of courtesy … what a difference it might make in someone’s life.

      We can always hope, yes? I believe it all starts with us and the people we influence …


  7. Lily-Ann, really GREAT post! One of my core beliefs is we change and impact the world through our behaviors and actions, not necessarily our words. People hear our words and then check what we are saying against their own beliefs- and well, if not in line we all know what happens. But when we role-model, when we behave and act, when we are the source of balance other just feed off of that. They want that. They will watch and observe to see how they can feel just like we do. Thanks for a really, really wonderful blog post!

    • Hi, Elizabeth …

      I think you’ve summed it up beautifully – others will feed off the energy we put out there … and often whether it’s good or bad, the influence is still there. The opportunity to spread a positive, uplifting message and then follow it with congruent actions is available to each of us every day – all we need is the courage to commit to it.

      Perhaps one of the best examples of someone walking their talk … would be Mr. Mandela, and may God rest his precious soul. He lived his message day in, day out – and by doing so, has inspired countless people, including myself. He is the Ghandi of our time, and will live on in legend.

      I hope and pray that in our observance of his loss, the world will actually internalize even just a fraction of his intentions – that would be the best and truest tribute to this icon of humanity. Words have their proper place and time, but as you point out, it’s actions that really count. Actions are what truly measure our worth.

      I’m pleased you were able to stop by my site and leave such an encouraging comment. Thanks so much …


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