Why I Don't Care About Healing The World
I read a frustrated blog post recently from someone I love and respect. The author expressed her concern for our world and all it's problems. She shared how, on the one hand, she is disillusioned by all the fear, pollution, excess, and pain in the world.
On the other hand, she desired so passionately to help create change. She struggles with the questions of not only how, but where to begin. She has grown frustrated with the seeming impossibility of it all.
When viewed from this broad lens, the world is a giant, complicated place. Filled with people who are angry, entitled, desperate, stubborn, or even dangerous. Creating large scale change is a monumental task. Maybe even impossible. So why even bother, right?
What if there is another lens to look through? Let me tell you a little story:
My Dad was sitting one morning at a local diner with a dear friend who was feeling exactly the same grim frustration about the state of our world and the people in it. Between forkfuls of omelet, this friend worked himself into quite a good rant about how "People are too much this" or "People are not enough that".
Dad, listening patiently, said nothing. When his friend finally concluded with a "world on his shoulders" sigh, Dad considered thoughtfully. Then, in a gentle voice, he suggested, "Take a look around you."
Confused, and slightly annoyed, his friend replied, "Why?"
"Just LOOK." Dad said. "Take a good honest look at each of the people sitting here, eating their breakfast. What do you see? Because I don't see a single angry face. I bet nearly every person in here, if you smiled at them, would smile back. I'm willing to bet some of them would even help you out if you needed them." He continued, "These people are your town, your zip code, YOUR world. They may not be perfect. They may not always agree with you. But MOST OF THEM ARE GOOD, LOVING, DECENT PEOPLE."
His friend looked around thoughtfully, lowering his fork and nodding wordless in wordless agreement.
We may not have control of the big picture. We may not know all the answers to change our big, giant, complicated world. But like my Dad always said, "People in this world are only as bad as you believe they are. Or as good. It is all a matter of how you choose to see them."
Remember to look around you. What if you found a way to create even a small amount of joy in the life of one person? Imagine the world if we ALL did?