It can be so tempting to shrug our shoulders at all the awfulness we witness in the world. To say, “What difference can anything I do make?”
The inferred answer to that question is, “Not much.”
But that’s a cop-out, an excuse for doing nothing.
Because the big jigsaw of life is made up of millions of tiny pieces. And the picture is not complete until all the pieces are in place. Think of what you might do as one of these vital pieces and then, no matter how small, every little thing any one of us might do feeds into a better, bigger picture.
We each contribute to the overall masterpiece. We each get a say in whether the overriding vibe will be one of love or one of fear (in the form of hatred, violence, greed).
And despite the violence, the poverty, the bigotry, the disease and all of the abject misery that we cannot deny, this world is actually full of wondrous things too.
All around us is evidence of love, joy and spectacular beauty.
Not least among them is the inherent goodness of human beings—in direct contrast to the badness we are seeing so much of too.
I believe in this goodness, although there are many days when I’m tempted to despair.
Despair, however, is a luxury we cannot afford. We need to keep focusing on the goodness and do our bit to further that.
And we need to do something that makes a difference.
We don’t all need to be heroes on a global level. We can make a difference in small ways, each and every day. It’s all about not shrugging our shoulders and instead asking, “What can I do today that will make some sort of difference to someone, somewhere?”
Ask ourselves that and do one little thing.
It’s vital, for the sake of all of humanity, that we each care enough to make a difference. That none of us shirks that responsibility and leaves it to others.
So, as the year comes to a close and we consider our goals, intentions and resolutions for the coming year, let’s all make that one commitment. Let’s commit to making a difference.
For some inspiration, if needed, here are some quotes to help you dig deep and to inspire you to commit:
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and, crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~ William James
“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.” ~ Sydney Smith
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” ~ William Arthur Ward
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: craftivist collective/Flickr