To Make a Change, You Need to Be the Change

A long while back I posted about how you need to be the change you want to make in the world. If nothing else, I’ve always stood by that statement. It wasn’t long after that where I started to worry about maybe it was too late for me to make a change in the world. What could I offer but words that I’m not even sure anyone reads or cares that I said them. What difference in the world could I possibly make? I think I’m nearing an early midlife crisis, or maybe it’s me nearing the end of my 20’s where I’m becoming increasingly aware and nostalgic all at once.

Maybe I’m right and it is too late for me to make a difference in this world. Maybe my generation and the ones before me are too far gone to change their stubborn ways. But I wonder how true that is. Gandhi was in his 70’s and he still fought for what he believed in to make his world a better place. Then again, he was assassinated so maybe that’s a warning to any of us who gets a silly idea like making a difference in the world. He had a cause he was willing to die for. Maybe my problem is that I don’t have any causes that make me say “yeah, I would take a bullet for that one”. Though get me on a good night, and I’d be willing to take a bullet for tacos or bacon. But I think eating either is enough of a hazard that I shouldn’t wish getting shot for it. Sometimes watching the news or hearing people talk make me also wish for a bullet, but I’m not sure if it’s for me or them. (It’s a joke, I don’t need the police on my doorstep. I’m a democrat, I don’t own a gun nor would I know what to do with one.)

If it is too late for me, it isn’t too late for my children. If nothing else, I can encourage this lesson for them. I always tell my oldest son never to settle for the lowest in life, that he should excel and do his best and aim for the sky. I want him to have a better life than me, and I’ve done everything in my life to encourage that. I went to school, I followed a dream. I didn’t settle for the life people expect of a teen mother: living in the slums while waiting at the welfare office for my money. I want my children to be successful meaningful people who change the world. I choose to lead them by example and show them that they are little specks in the grand scheme of the world, but even the smallest rock can make a ripple in the water. My oldest son is this shining example of this: he donated his time last year to several community service projects as part of his school’s student council. He walked proudly with his over-sized sandwich board advertising his school’s booth at the local Cancer Walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I walked proudly behind him, because I am proud. I take everything back, maybe this is the change I’m supposed to make.

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