Yes, contemplate. But contemplation is not the be all end all. After collecting my thoughts over the last week, I think there are some ways I believe contemplation should be focused towards.
In fact, contemplation can be dangerous when done wrongly. Mostly because many of us do not focus our thoughts. It is easy to get snared by bad thoughts. It is easy to feel bad about oneself and thus never make that step to amount to anything. It is easy to see the bad side of things. We can all place blame, point out faults and give up upon everything.
What is more important about contemplation is how to draw strength from it.
Watching what some effective people do in life is ask a very important question : Is it useful? Do I like it? This is a very important tool. We need to do away with the bad parts, give them no attention and no credit. We need to focus more on the good parts! Give them a lot of attentin and a lot of credit. We need to realise the things that we really need and things that we can do without. What are our strengths, what are our crutches? And as I read in The 4-hour Work Week - Don't bother fixing all the chinks in the armour, just run with your strength and go with it.
Contemplation is also important for this thought: What do I want this to look like? Another important thing at all levels - from individuals, to society to the globe. How do we want our future to look like? If we can see it, we can get there. If we have a goal we can go for it. It's a common psychology if you are trying to lose weight - stop thinking about how fat you are, start thinking about how thin you are going to be. Then break it into manageable steps. Yes there is poverty and you want to do something about it. See where we are, see where we want to be and become part of that movement. Yes it is possible. We can eradicate it bit by bit. There is absolutely no physical law stopping us from doing so. Don't listen to the people who tell you we can't make it, because they're wrong. (:D and I rarely get more outrageous than that - but it's true!)
Actually I watched a TED tv video on featuring our simliarities and disimilarities to apes by an active environmentalist. She was the founder of the grassroots organisation called Shoots. As she explained her travels around the world and the terrible vision and plight of many environments, she also impressed upon everyone how bleak we all feel it is (especially the current Gen X beginning to take the reigns of control) However, with Shoots, as people began their small movements everywhere across, how hope is slowly returning. As people clean the rivers in their towns, and protect the wildlife near their place, there is hope that we as a humanity will be able to manage this large scale.
I think this goes for everyone and all situations. Yes you want something that appears out of reach. But everyone who has reached out for something unreachable and gotten it, has always first had the idea that they could do it. And that's what we need contemplation for. To see it, to feel it and to set out in faith we can get there.
So yes contemplation is the way! But use it wisely. The mind is like a muscle, it needs to be worked and trained. And since our entire reality is fed through to us in our mind, how important is it for us to strengthen it? "The eyes are the windows of the soul, but if the eyes are dark, how great is that darkness? But if the eyes are full of light! How great is that light?!" And you know what? Not to take the analogy to far, but it is us who choose whether to open the curtains are not. No situation holds any intrinsic value save for the perceptions and judgements we choose to ascribe it.