For When You Feel Like You Aren't Doing Enough to Change the World
There is so much work to be done to better the world.
We could both probably list 56 urgent causes and we still wouldn't have come close to naming everything.
So it's easy to feel like we're not doing enough. Like our efforts are insufficient, our contributions too small.
But the feeling of not enough has never been a sustainable motivator for me. Plus, I think it misses the point. There's a wonderful line from writer Edward Everett Hale:
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
We cannot do everything for all the urgent causes that matter to us. If we try, we will let what we cannot do interfere with what we can do. The point is to do what we each uniquely can do. Which will vary from person to person.
And if what we can do isn't visible, if it won't be in the news, photographed, written about, it is still no less important than the acts that are visible.
Those who without fanfare or glory quietly give 10% of their salary, train activists and organizers in public speaking or private self-care, hand out cups of water at races for a cause, leave their returnable bottles on the stoop for a nonprofit or individual in need - they are equally essential to change.
Our call is not to do it all. Our call is to do what we are able to do. Not with guilt or shame that we aren't doing more or as much as our neighbors, but with the fullness of heart and spirit that this is what we can do.
And if we do that, it will be enough.