Lately, I’ve been feeling restless. There seems to be a lot of violence and anger and hate in our city and our country and our world. I want to change things, make things better, but I don’t know where to begin. I feel in my spirit that an opportunity is coming and I want to be ready. I want to be prepared to make good choices in whatever situation I may find myself.
As I was thinking today about what I can do to become a better person, I thought of this song;
This video is full of images of love and hate, peace and violence, helping and harming. I want so badly to be a force for good in the world. Sometimes, it seems like I am so small and powerless that anything I can offer the world is insignificant. At other times, though, I realize that one small person can make a difference. One voice calling for peace changes the world a little bit. I want to be a voice of understanding and not a voice of division.
In my life, that means that I must not carry a grudge against anyone. I have to look at people and what they do in the most favorable light, instead of ascribing evil motives to them. I want to remember that many people are carrying very heavy burdens of their own. I don’t want to add one tiny ounce of pain to anyone’s life.
Here is one of my favorite pictures of all time. It is a picture of Pope John Paul II meeting with the man who shot him. It is one of the most inspiring pictures I have ever seen. The Pope met with his attacker and forgave him. When I am feeling hesitant to forgive anyone, because I think the person does not deserve my forgiveness or because I want to hold onto my hurt and anger for a while, I look at this picture. I remember that Pope John Paul forgave the man who shot him. WHO SHOT HIM. I think that if the Pope could offer forgiveness to the man who tried to kill him, I can reach out to someone who has hurt me in some small way.
I am very, very fortunate to have a job that I can feel really good about. I work for an agency (ABVI-Goodwill) that is making a big difference in the world. I work with phenomenal people who are very committed to our mission, which is “To prepare and empower people who are blind and visually impaired to be self-sufficient and contribute to their families and communities.” Sometimes, when I think that what I do doesn’t make much of a difference in the world, I remember that I am part of a team that is doing good work. I may have only a small function, but the team needs everyone, even me, to be effective. I want to perform my role to the very best of my ability – and be kind and friendly to the people I work with – so that I can help us fulfill our mission.
And then there is my blog. I believe that this blog is my way to stand for something. I want my words to give people hope. Because I have learned that my visual impairment does not have to mean the end of my career or the end of my productivity or the end of my joy in life, I have come to believe that I can be a voice telling other people not to give up. No matter what anyone is going through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I want people to know that they can still find joy in whatever situation they might find themselves. I want everyone to be able to find beauty around them and grace at work in the world. Because of this, I want to work on improving my blog and making it a place where people can come to find words of hope and comfort and inspiration. I want to make each post the best it can be.
All of these are my little ways of working on improving myself and making the world a better place. Instead of working on pointing fingers and changing others, I need to look at myself honestly and work to get rid of pessimism and any “isms” I discover in myself. I want to be more kind and loving to everyone I meet. As the song lyrics say “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.” It’s time for me to make a change. Starting with myself. Starting today.