You Can Change the World–I Can Too!


The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.                                                       anonymous


You can change the world.  For everyone who just cracked up laughing, I’ll say it again.  YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

Those of us with emotional and psychological problems might be thinking:  I can’t even change myself, how can I possibly change the world?

Where is the world?  In deserts where children are dying of hunger and thirst?  Yes.  In Syria where millions are trying flee their own country?  Yes.  At the store checkout when you’re buying your groceries?  Yes.  When you feel like yelling at your kids because they’re driving you crazy?  Yes.  Right here at my desk, as I write these words?  Yes.

I used to think I would have to become a missionary or work with an organization like Doctors Without Borders or Unicef to change the world.  Just because I’m not Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi or the president doesn’t mean I can’t change the world.   The space I occupy and the people I interact with every day are just as much part of this world as distant lands where disaster and famine are occurring.  Just as much a part of the world as anywhere oppression reins.

What if your neighbor is getting her mail and you smile and wave at her and maybe have a short chat.  You changed the world.  There’s a piece of trash on the ground and a garbage can nearby.  Do you leave the trash on the ground and not change the world or do you throw it away and make the world a better place?  This planet is a mosaic of people and places.  We don’t have to change huge swaths of it to make it better.  Changing one tile improves the whole.

Do you believe in the domino effect?  What if you spend five minutes talking the lady who is ringing up a pack of gum you’re buying?  She tells you her problems and you really listen and sympathize.  You both know there’s nothing you can do to fix her problems.  But giving her some time and attention improves her mood.  When she picks up her kids from school after work, she doesn’t yell at them.  The kids go out to play and don’t fight with their friends because they feel so good.  One of those friends goes home to eat supper and gives his or her mom a great big hug because playing was so fun today.  The mom doesn’t drink that evening because the hug felt so good.  Instead of fighting, like every other night in recent history, the mom and dad have a nice evening together and both go to bed feeling better than they have in a long time.  Was that worth five minutes?  YOU have changed the world.

Most of us never know the consequences of small interactions with strangers or acquaintances but it’s hard to think of a situation where kindness would have a negative consequence.


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