Saturday, June 26, 2010
I wrote this blog for my thinker/life update/semi political blog, mosbeyondcalifornia, and I thought I'd share the thoughts here. I love love love the quotes I stuck in at the end, so stick around even for that much ;). You all have changed my life and I can only hope I've done the same for at least one of you.
Well, it has been a long while since I have stopped in to say hello, share with you news and the like. Upon finishing my thesis, I will give the final wrap-up of what has been a rather disappointing two years of school, but the other joys I have found in the process.
This particular blog is about change. Not about the ones that happen in your life, but the one that you cause in others.
I was out to dinner with a friend, a wonderful friend who has been an amazing support system, and he tells me that the other night he was having trouble. He wanted to call me, to have me come, but his fiance talked him out of it, saying that I shouldn't be disturbed. If there is a friend in need, I will go or do whatever I can to help, so I reminded him of this.
All of this led to a conversation about my role in his life, as well as one or two others specifically. He said something to the effect that I am a wonderful influence because I accept everybody, I challenge them (and myself) to be better people and that I change lives by simply being in them.
I bring this up, not to share a huge compliment to me (although it did my heart good to hear), but because it made me think quite a bit about my place in the world.
I'm a recent almost graduate (stupid thesis), who's busting butt trying to find a job. I have made the decision to spend my life teaching. And recently I had a short interchange about changing the world, with John saying that he gave up on this ideal long ago. So, all of this added into this discussion of how I have changed these few friends lives. Not how, but simply that I have.
It reminded me of something. I can't change the world. I can't fix it. I can't solve the problems. But who cares about the can'ts? What about the can's? Whatever happened to those? Isn't making a difference in one or two lives worth it? That if we all hold hands with the person standing next to us, maybe, just maybe, someday the world will change? Possibly not in my lifetime, but who said change is immediate? By simply being who I am, by living my life the best (mostly) way I know how, I've changed these two or three friends - who turn around and change others by being the best versions of themselves as well, and so on and so forth.
Ultimately, we can and do change the world. Every person who is inspired, challenged or otherwise loved by you, is changed, their world is changed. And isn't that more than enough? Isn't that everything?
And a few quotes to end this off...
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James
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
Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice
He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help. ~Abraham Lincoln
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ~John Wooden
I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives. ~Tracy Chapman
The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it. ~William James
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 that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert F. Kennedy
There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~Betty Reese
Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~Albert Einstein
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. ~Carl Jung
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~Helen Keller
An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. ~James Michener
Heros are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary. ~Gerard Way