I was listening to Professor Heather Cox Richardson this week talk about current affairs and how messaging can affect our outlook and actions. Driving some to do terrible things for a supposed cause or take part in a figurative war that those holding the societal marionette strings want to see come to fruition.

She used the example of Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago was jaded about being passed up for a promotion, so he started whispering in Othello’s ear. Gaslighting him. Telling him stories about his life and his wife. The story ends badly for Othello and those he loves. But it got me thinking.

Who do we let whisper in our ear? What is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves? Who do we allow to rent space in our head? And how does that change how we live our life? What we believe we can accomplish? What we think is important and true?

The only opinion that matters is our own. And what do we believe?

As Tao Te Ching wrote, “Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfilment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

The whole world belongs to you. Now go out and change it.