i know, i know, it’s been awhile since i’ve written. i’ll tell you about that later. but first, here’s my problem:
I want to change the world.
I want to make a difference, a global impact…or at least a local one. I want to change lives. I guess that in and of itself is not the problem. The actual real true problem is that I’m a wuss who doesn’t like to cause waves. hell, I don’t even like to cause ripples! I’m not bold, not even in the slightest. And I feel like that is what’s needed, at least on some level, in order to change the world.
You know that awesomely-amazing-finally-people-are-talking-about-social-issues show What Would You Do? Well, being completely honest, I’ve come to believe that most often, I’d be the person sitting and doing nothing. Sitting. Not intervening. Not speaking up. Nada. Internally? that would be a different story. I’d be hollering up a storm!…in my head.
I’ve got some evidence to support this theory…and some to refute it. I remember this one time at a coffee shop, I was sitting there, working intently (which really means periods of work mixed in with moments of people watching and observing everything around me). So like I said, I was “working intently” and noticed a man with a cane slip and fall outside as he made his way to his car. It looked like a pretty bad fall but, more than that, he looked defeated and upset with himself. I didn’t move but I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, screaming at me to go DO SOMETHING! …but I didn’t. A couple of patrons looked at each other and walked outside to help. He turned them away. I felt like shit for not going to help. and even shittier for being glad he turned them away, like I had done good by not doing anything. …I didn’t like it.
This other time, I was driving home from choir practice, rounding out a lovely 14-hour day. I came to a stop sign, ready to continue rushing home, to reach home and my bed. That didn’t quite happen as planned. I noticed a young woman walking slowly and stumbling, looking like she had been through something. It was dark but I noticed her holding on to a sign across the street from where I was and slowly slid down. I put on my emergency lights, making my way to her while calling 911. I spoke with the woman who was pleading for help as she struggled to state that she had been raped. I stayed with her while I spoke to the dispatcher. It was surreal. But there was no panic on my end, simply calm and a yearning to help this woman.
So there it is. Two life examples; one of me avoiding the heck out of a situation and the other of me helping without hesitation. SO how the hell do I expect to change the world if I can’t find a consistency in how/when I help or even speak up against injustice??
…sorry, a tad frustrated. I try not to be too hard on myself. I recognize that my reaction/lack thereof is part personality (introversion is awesome in many respects but creates many moments of purposeful (?) quiet and inaction), part socialization (the world teaches the loud to be louder and the others to be quiet), and maybe mostly part childhood experiences that taught me early on that I needed to be quiet and stay out of the way if I wanted to make it through the day relatively unharmed. […I think I forgot the “warning: major self-disclosure” preface at the beginning of this buuut it’s aight because by now, I think we both know what we’ve gotten ourselves into). But seriously, I get it. I learned (rightly or not) that staying quiet and unnoticed made most days easier to handle. I. Get. It. It’s NOT completely me…but I can’t use that forever.
so what do I do?
…easier said than done, Clouds.
…I’m pretty sure I just had a conversation with myself. I think that’s probably a sign that I should end with a thought-provoking quote or some motivating lyrics…or both.
It’s not enough to be quietly brilliant, shining your light in a closet. You need to change the way you think in order to move forward in your life.
You are not going to move forward using the same mindset that you already have. Something needs to shift.
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
– Casting Crowns