“Don’t spend your precious time asking, ‘Why isn’t the world a better place?’ It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is, ‘How can I make it better?’ To that there is an answer.” (Leo F. Buscaglia)
How often do we complain about something that isn’t right, yet do nothing to remedy it? I think it’s a pretty common experience – one that we all have.
Starting now, I encourage you to respond differently when you see something that isn’t right. Instead of just complaining about it, do something about it – even if it’s something small.
So if pollution in the Gulf is bothering you, take some time to pick up trash on your street. If child abuse is on your radar, take a moment today to connect with a child and listen to them (they all have a story they’d love to tell you). If homelessness is upsetting you, take the next homeless person you see to lunch and feed them a good meal.
While these small gestures will not change the entire world, they will make a huge difference in the world of one person, one child, one street. Taking an action, any action, will make a difference.
Another important way to make a difference is through your thinking. Think about what’s right in the world, focus on what can be done to effect change. Stop dwelling on the negatives.
An unknown author said it this way, “Faith, belief, and positive thinking make better people and a better world since the outer world shapes itself to our thinking. Quit thinking and talking about war, poverty, hard times, Think and talk about peace, health, plenty, success, and you’ll help bring them about.”
Following this train of thought, consider cutting back on the amount of time that you spend watching negative tv shows (like the news) – shows that dwell on what’s going wrong everywhere and how horrible things are. Instead, choose to place your attention on upbeat, positive things – like tv shows that inspire you and reveal the beauty of the human spirit.
And that holds true for books, games, magazines, newspapers, and even conversations with friends and neighbors – keep it positive, and watch how your experience of the world begins to shift.
Trust me, you’ll still be up-to-date on what’s going wrong in the world – it’s impossible in our modern-day society to avoid knowing about all the problems and chaos – because that is where most of our culture places its focus.
I want to emphasize that this is not being a Pollyanna – it is about noticing what’s right, taking action when we see something that is disturbing to us, and placing our attention on the areas that we want to see more of (beauty, kindness, cooperation, peace), and knowing that we can effect change, even if it’s on a small scale.
So the next time something bothers you, instead of commenting on it….ask yourself, ‘How can I make it better?’