So you get your coffee, muffin, juice or whatever and you sit down in front of your PC in the morning and get ready for the workday. Meetings are scheduled, clients are coming in and there’s a full day of work ahead before you can drag yourself home. For just a few minutes, though, you hit the news websites to see what happened overnight. Lately, this morning perusal of the headlines has gone something like this: Dozens killed in
Pretty depressing, eh?
There in vibrant color and dramatic font are the failings of society. There are stories of damaged, broken people who hurt others, either by actions that are reprehensible or by inaction that is criminally negligent. What can you do about it, anyway? You showed up at work. You didn’t kick the cat this morning or yell at the kids. You’ve done what good people are supposed to do.
So why, no matter how briefly, do you have that sick feeling in your stomach as you see the news?
It could be that you know the world is supposed to be a better place. For a moment you imagine a better place. Perhaps you remember something your grandma said about the Golden Rule. Maybe you suddenly remember a situation where you were proud of your mom or dad for helping someone. It could even be long forgotten memories of Sunday school teachings whittling at your conscience. It doesn’t matter. This sudden realization manifests itself in one bold statement.
Things should be better than this.
We were not put on this Earth to be mean to one another. We are not here to be victims. A purposeful life demands that we learn, teach, innovate and achieve. People are meant to succeed. We are all role models, whether we wish it or not.
Man, though, that’s a tough gig.
It’s hard. Work is hard; the cat tears up the house, the kids scream constantly and your boss is demanding more and more. The neighbors are too loud, politicians are corrupt and the guy two desks over is so lazy you’re doing half of his work.
But…but what about a small step?
Yeah, you could do that. Opportunities to improve things abound. It’s not like anyone is asking you to fund a college scholarship. The trick, you suddenly realize, is to take advantage of the opportunities you can. Instead of tossing the pop can from lunch in the trash, you aim for the recycle bin. You box up your newspapers and cans at home for recycling. The bins behind the fire station or the municipal building are only a few blocks away. You feel good that all that stuff isn’t in a landfill.
That bald guy on TV with the starving kids makes you feel guilty when he comes on during Seinfeld reruns. After a few minutes you think about your own kids. What if you couldn’t feed them? What if you hadn’t been lucky enough to be born in the
If your neighbors need help then take your snow blower over when there’s six inches of snow on the ground. You probably need the extra exercise anyway. Let someone cut in front of you in traffic. The wave they give you feels good. Spend a few extra bucks on the fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll use less electricity and watch your bill go down a few more bucks. Read to your kids. Be patient with your kids. Remember that you do not, under any circumstances, want to be that screaming maniac mom or dad that you see in the mall parking lot.
This is what you can do, these things and a hundred more. This is how you offset the horrible, terrible things you will read about in the news tomorrow. You will live a better life and you will feel good because you will be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Helping those in need is a good thing. Using fewer resources so your kids have some is a good thing. Being someone others can look up to is a good thing. Every small thing you do is an accomplishment. If nothing else, at the end of the day, you will know that you have done something to make things better.
Here is a partial list of organizations doing good things:Christian Children's Fund