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Make a good day

I came across a post on Facebook that pointed out that tomorrow is 1-11 (or 11-1, if you're not a backward American).  These, it says, are "angel numbers".  The admonishment is that on this day, you should focus on positive thoughts and avoid negative thoughts because they'll be amplified, or something like that.  My initial reaction when seeing something about how a certain number or combination of numbers is spiritual just makes me roll my eyes.  But, on a deeper level, I'm actually rather bothered by the fact that this type of thing is so prevalent in our society.  Particularly when I look through the comments on such a post and see that they are all "Amen", "Thank you", or "I'm sharing this!"

I believe that these types of spiritual beliefs, superstitions, fortunes, etc are all harmful because they perpetuate this notion of "fate"--the teaching that our destiny is out of our control and we must simply wait for a particular day or time or star alignment or some other nonsense in order to be happy.  The truth is there are many things that are out of our control.  I cannot will the Earth to spin in the opposite direction, making the Sun appear to rise in the West instead of the East.  I cannot make homophobic people accept me for being an out, proud gay man.  But when we perpetuate teachings such as this one--that on a particular day, some magical thing will happen if you perform some sort of ritual--we're yielding the things that we can control in our lives over to some mysterious force that we do not or cannot comprehend (typically a force that's entirely imagined, as in the case of these angel numbers).

There are many factors that go into determining whether we are happy, sad, mad, or bored.  But, brain science tells us that thinking positive thoughts makes us feel good.  In other words, all other things being equal, if you want to be happy then just start thinking happy.  You will be happier if you think positive things than if you think negative things.  Sure, there are lots of things out of your control that could go bad.  You could lose your job, get sick, lose a loved one, etc.  But, the thoughts that you entertain in your mind are your own to choose.  It has nothing to do with a particular day or sequence of numbers or mystical invisible force holding the universe together.  It has to do with endorphins flooding your brain.  It's chemistry, not astrology.

Another aspect of this fate-wishing that is so prevalent is that it absolves the individual of responsibility.  One is no longer accountable for one's own actions because it's simply fate--one had no choice but to end up or behave a certain way.  "My horoscope says I'll be gloomy today, so I have no choice but to be gloomy."  This thought will indeed make one gloomy.  I believe in personal accountability.  We are each individually responsible for the actions that we ourselves commit.  If I kill a person, I cannot blame it on the devil.  I cannot assert that the murder only happened because it was June 6th 2006.  I must accept culpability.

We often say to each other (particularly at places of commerce, near the end of the transaction) to "have a good day".  This sort of well-wishing is pleasant, and certainly an old tradition.  However, it also seems to implicitly leave things to fate to decide whether the day actually will be good.  And so, I say, rather than "have a good day", "make a good day".  Choose to be good.  Choose to feel good.  Choose to do good.  Choose to speak good.  Don't wait for your day to mysteriously become good.  Don't wait for your horoscope to show great fortune or your angel numbers to direct a path toward light and spirituality.  Look for things that you can control in your life, control those things, make the life that you want to have.

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