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Be the Change

Be the Change

A favorite quotation of many, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” by Margaret Mead (1901-1978) tells us that each of us can help to change the world if we get organized and focus our energies. A large group of people can have a big impact on a worthy cause, but in the absence of a large group of people, a smaller one can still have an impact so there is no reason for inaction shares, Avil Beckford, researcher, author and founder of The Invisible Mentor. She continues to point out, We often think, “What can I do as one person?” but we should never doubt our capacity to make a difference in this world, even if it is one person at a time.

There is no lack of reminders this world is in need of change. The front page of newspapers as well as other media sources are often filled with the horrors of violence, natural disasters, human suffering and human failings of character and behavior. Too often, we are left to believe there is no hope, no future redemption, nothing good happening in the world. And then, just the moment we have been waiting for happens. Amidst the darkening shadows of despair and gloom, we are overcome with amazing voices and events that shout good news! Young people speaking about life changing experiences and encouraging others to join them on a quest for the betterment of the world, individuals sharing encouragement and belief in a world of possibilities, clergy  peaking on the power of an encompassing truth that love is redemptive and powerful and a song on the radio that brings everything into focus that we are the key to the future. We are the source of making things better and brighter. We can make the difference that is much needed, actually, we are the only ones that can change the world.

From far to near, adults to youth these past weeks, there have been words of encouragement that the future is bright, a better world is at hand, and good things are happening everyday even amidst the chaos and despair that often threatens our spirits of hope.

Bishop Michael Curry in his wedding address for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quoted the late Rev. Martin Luther King’s words, We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this whole world a new world. Bishop Curry pointed out, there’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift us up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live.

High school graduates recognized for their leadership of their senior class and academic accomplishments used the opportunity when speaking to their peers, families, and friends their
commencement ceremonies to speak words of encouragement and calls to action for future deeds of service and success. Here are some of the ideas shared. Don’t worry about what other people are doing,

Find where you fit and work hard to be the best at it. You (classmates) hold the keys to making a positive influence. Dream Big and reach for the stars. Strive for peace and understanding to grow closer. Go out and experience more, broaden your horizons, build character, find your passions. In 2013, the American rock band Alternate Routes composed a song, Nothing More, for the non-profit organization Newtown Kindness an organization born out of the loss of Sandy Hook first grader Charlotte Bacon. This is a simple idea according to lead singer Tim Warren, that…we are going to pick up the pieces and we are going to try and make the best of the situation. The organization’s mission is to celebrate, reward and recognize acts of kindness by children. The song is an acknowledgement of the hero within us all, and a call to action to change the world we live in through simple acts of kindness and the ability to contribute to your community. These lyrics speak to the ability in each of us to make the difference, to recognize our power to bring about the change we want to see for the better of our world.

Tell me what it is that you see
A world that’s filled with endless possibilities?
Heroes don’t look like they used to, they look like you do.
We are love
We are one
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are peace.
We are war.
We are how we treat each other and nothing more.

The words of this song are reflective of the words and thoughts of Margaret Mead, Dr. King, Bishop Curry and the future visionaries leaving high school hallways for the world ahead of them. Each of us can make the difference for a better more positive future for the world. We can be the light of hope in the darkness that often seems to encompass us. It all begins with one. One person, one kind act, one word of encouragement, one positive influence, one big dream, one heart filled with love for our neighbor, one desire for peace. Nothing more.

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