Who We Will Lift Up

There is a human truth I love. 

I can't remember if it comes from Maya Angelou, Viktor Frankl, Isaac Newton or someone else entirely. 

This truth has two parts. The first is familiar: 

We each have been lifted up by countless women and men who came before us. People whose names, faces, lives we will never know. The ones who showed up to vote for causes that became laws. The lab technicians, construction workers, assistants adjacent to history's luminaries. The many who raised their voices and moved their feet to turn a moment into a movement. 

Now, here's the other part of this human truth. Which is less familiar. 

Our responsibility is to lift up the many who will come after us. They may not know our names, faces, lives. But they will stand higher, see further for our having been here. 

So the question is: What will we do to raise up the great many who will follow us? 

I don't mean this in a grand, sweeping, must-patent-a-new-cure-for-cancer way, though if we can do that, by all means, let's.

But I mean in our ordinary days - filled with laundry, traffic, eating leftovers - what will we do to move this world forward? 

My father recycles. I have friends who work in city government, donate to public libraries, carpool, make brilliant signs for marches. It all counts. 

But what so much of it seems to come down to is four words: Care a little more. 

For friends, family, strangers, communities, ourselves. Because when we care, we step off the sidelines and into the arena. And it's in the arena where change happens. 

And this change, created by the care of so many humans on so many ordinary days, can't help but lift up those who will come after us. 

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