I keep having small aha moments that all add up to the same big idea: making my own tiny difference in the world leaves me feeling empowered, while simultaneously chipping away at the problems that surround me.
While my little acts won’t actually fix anything on their own, they do add up to make a cumulative difference. It makes me feel like I’m doing the emotional equivalent of erasing my carbon footprint on the planet. My small gestures of kindness may not leave the physical earth neutral or better for my having existed, but I think they offer an aura of goodness that gives hope to those in need of it.
Today’s version of the realization came from a visit with my parents. My dad is on day three of his recovery from double knee replacement surgery. Because I was there when he took his first labored steps, I am very aware of just how brutal the recovery is and will continue to be for the next few weeks. Seriously. Dad made the Winter Warlock from the old school Christmas cartoon The Year without a Santa Claus look like famous sprinter Jesse Owens. “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the do-ooo-oor.” Easy for you to say, Kris Kringle.
Watching Dad grimace made me feel so powerless. Since I can’t heal wounds or even medicate him into oblivion, what could I possibly do to ease his burdens? I hated feeling so useless to him.
But then I realized that simply by being a loving face during this difficult time I was doing something important for him. With my mom, my brother and me around him, he knew he wasn’t going to be alone in his struggles. Then I did simple things like bringing my parents some groceries and picking up Dad’s prescriptions. Today I dropped by for another few hours to bring lunch and visit, to break up the monotony of his bed-to-chair rotation.
Even though I didn’t fix anything, I did make a difference. My dad’s recovery is better for my involvement in it. I can’t fix knees, but I can enhance his morale to have an impact on his drive to heal. Whether he’s back to his beloved golf game a day or an hour sooner because of my efforts, I know I am making a difference.
It makes me think about all the issues we have in our lives—whether they be in our jobs, neighborhoods or family dynamics. The daunting problems there may be too big for us to conquer as individuals, but we can each do something to bring ourselves that sense of empowerment while making an impact for positive change.
It’s a New Year… what can you do to make the burdens around you a little lighter?
Causes Shana Moore Supports