The Worst of Times, or The Best?
by Alan Cohen – Hawaii

The world seems to be in the worst condition it has ever been. A global pandemic, uncertain economy, restriction of movement, racial injustice, crazy politics, war, and so many adverse conditions make us feel powerless, unsettled, and fearful of the future. How did we get into this mess? More important, how can we get out?

The truth is, our current situation is no worse than any other. War, plagues, and injustice have troubled humanity since day one. The first step to healing our current situation is to realize that we are not victims of an unusually oppressive era. The second step is to realize that the source of all oppression is in the mind. The third step is to realize that freedom from all oppression also occurs in the mind.

At all times there is great evil, and at all times there is great good. The world is a huge theater of different realities co-existing side by side. Each of us gets to live in the reality that matches the thoughts we are using to look at it. It is useless to try to change conditions without first changing the mind. Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” Thoreau declared, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one hacking at the root.”

A Course in Miracles tells us, “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.” It is tempting to believe, “If I can just get rid of coronavirus and secure my income, I can be at peace.” Of course, that would be wonderful; I pray that happens soon. But if we wait for evil to be vanquished before we can be at peace, we will be waiting forever. The way to vanquish evil is to be at peace, which we are free to choose now. A Course in Miracles also tells us, “I could see peace instead of this.” The greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity.

While many people are giving in to fear and panic, others are using this time to deliver healing. Like the Australian man who was passing a long line of people waiting for public assistance. He went to his bank, took out $10,000, and gave each person a $100 bill. “My immense reward was to see their faces light up,” he reported. Then there were the flight crews in England who had been grounded due to the decline in airline use. They set up hospitality rooms in hospitals and refreshed the weary medical workers. While a friend of mine in Portugal was unable to travel, she discovered several elderly people in her apartment building who needed help. She cooked for them, took them to medical appointments, and developed deep relationships with them. Novelist George Eliot asked, “What are we here for, if not to make each other’s lives easier?”

The opening line of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” That observation is true of every time. There is always light and darkness, good and evil, wisdom and foolishness. We each choose which element of the world we will live in. We inherit the world that matches our thoughts. Every thought we think is a key that unlocks the door to a world, for better or worse. If you want to live in the best of times, you must think the best of thoughts.

It is possible to thrive in a challenging world because thriving is an expression of our true nature. When you thrive mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, three things happen:

  1. You feel happy and at peace;
  2. You manifest material prosperity; and
  3. You are in the best possible position to help others who are fearful or hurting in any way.

Your well-being is your greatest contribution to the planet at this time. Let us seek to change our minds, that the world may be changed as a result of our higher vision.

Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including Spirit Means Business. Become a certified holistic coach in Alan’s life-changing Holistic Life Coach Training beginning January 2021. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit:



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