This planet is so screwed up. Scroll online for a few minutes, or simply open your eyes and look around. It is obvious that there is much to be done.
All this brokenness creates potential to do so much good. To care for the hurting, the least, the oppressed. To encourage those around you and to point them in the right direction. To care for the environment and stand up for creatures that don’t have their own voice.
There are countless opportunities to do good every single day. We literally can go nowhere and do nothing without having an opportunity because wherever brokenness is in this world (hint: everywhere), there is a chance to help heal. Honestly, we are surrounded by so many opportunities that if we don’t keep on our toes and on guard against it, we can be paralyzed into doing nothing.
Earlier, I was going through my makeup and searching the web in order to find cruelty free brands for a shopping guide I was writing. After all, why should animals have to suffer so that my eyelashes can look prettier? Once I finished the piece, I felt content in knowing that I was doing my part to support cruelty free beauty brands, and that I was encouraging others to do the same.
As I left my laptop behind and began walking to class, I started to think. I thought about all the animals that are abused and neglected, and about how other countries aren’t creating the same efforts to move away from animal testing. This led to thinking about other evil in the world, like the human rights being violated and people being killed in Syria. It is such an odd thing that you can go from feeling elated about what you’re doing to better the world to suddenly feeling like the weight of everything is on your shoulders.
I’m sure you’ve felt the same way before. It is easy to get caught up in how small we truly are, and we tend to view our impact on the world as if we were a drop of water in an ocean. When there is so much hurt, so much brokenness to be found, and we have such small realms of influence, it can be difficult to not be paralyzed by our lack of impact.
Yet, we forget that no matter how small it is, we STILL have an impact whenever we do something to better this planet.
One of my favorite stories that illustrates this is about a man who was found tossing washed up starfish back into the ocean. Hundreds of starfish had washed up on the beach, and although the man was tossing several back, most of them were going to die. A spectator asked him why he was doing what he was doing when, after all, most of the starfish were still going to die, and what he was doing didn’t really matter. The man picked a starfish up and tossed it back into the sea, then looked at the spectator and replied, “For that one, it did.”
Folks, we may not have the biggest impact on the world; in fact, our sphere of influence may be tiny. Yet, whenever we decide that we are going to be the change the world needs to see, and take a step forward to do something to fight against the brokenness in this world, we are doing something that could impact people more than we know. We can’t let the fact that we aren’t able to heal and change everything keep us from doing what we CAN do; if everyone did that, nothing would ever change for the better.
We must step up and refuse to be paralyzed into staying in our comfort zone and doing nothing to better this planet. Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” If you cannot do great things for good, do small things when possible, and you’ll touch more lives than you could imagine.