Be The Catalyst For Change

There is a lot going on in our world right now.  I see so much good, so much promise. Unfortunately, I also see a lot of bad and misdirection.  This country was, at one time, the greatest country in the world.  In many respects it still is.  What happened?  Yes, we are still pretty darn good and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  The opportunities we have in front of us are abounding – if we just would stay out of our own way.

It’s difficult to watch ad after ad of our potential leaders pointing the finger at one another and arguing about who is right or who has the answer.  The truth of the matter is, no one person has all the right answers.  They seem to be more interested in bashing their opponent or spinning their words to gain the most support.  I get it.  That’s part of the game they believe they have to play in order to win.  But do they?  What happened with just being truthful and letting that determine the result?

There is divide on the issues of immigration, race, healthcare, the institution of marriage and many, many more.  It seems that each side is more interested in proving that their opinions, their actions, their “solutions” are correct and no one is listening to the other point of view.  It’s like watching a bunch of narcissists trying to one up one another.  Each, it seems, is more interested in establishing their legacy and bolstering their image rather than really looking at the issues at hand to promote real change, real solutions.

It bothers me that the city in which I live has seen four women violently murdered this year.  Prior to that in the past 15 years the average for all murders has less than one in any given year.  That is more than four times the norm.  It is certainly troubling at the very least.  The last woman didn’t even know her attacker and the person that did it not only admitted his heinous actions but said he did it because he had nothing better to do.  He wanted to get into more trouble so he raped and brutally murdered her.  What?  Are you kidding me?  I am fortunate to live in the city I live in because if it was bigger I know more senseless crime like this would happen and it would just be discouraging.

Just yesterday, I read that a group is planning to hinder runners from finishing the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota.  I understand that they are trying to garner attention for their cause but I fear the way they are going about it very well could lead to even more division and violence.  The point many fail to see when focused on their little piece of the world is that all lives matter.  It doesn’t matter your race, nationality or sexual orientation.  As a community we need to be more tolerant and kind to others and their views, even if they are contrary to our own.


So, whose fault is it?  The real answer is that it’s all of our faults.  Yes, we each play a role in where we are at today.  Now, some may not be as culpable as others but we play a part nonetheless.  So how can we change the direction in which we are going?  Remember, there are a lot of good things going on as well.  The rhetoric for change and standing up for what is right is there.  I see it every day.

I see it in the countless posts each and every day of people helping each other to be better.  People reaching out to others to offer support and encouragement.  I recently got to meet a father who pushed his son, who has cerebral palsy, across the country – IN 60 DAYS!  Along the way, they raised money and gave away racing chariots so other children with disabilities could experience the freedom and exhilaration of movement; so they could feel the breeze in their face as the sun shone brightly on them.  Closer to home, some very dedicated and caring people started a chapter for Ainsley’s Angles so that gift of mobility could be celebrated here in our community.  Another woman I know is working tirelessly to bring adaptive and inclusive sport opportunities to those that have disabilities.  In the past few years in my community one man started an organization the makes connections for people looking for volunteer opportunities.  Above all else, it has been a hub for bringing people and resources together for those in need.

There are countless other organizations, people, and groups of people that are doing amazing things right here in our community.  I’m sure my community is not unique in that regard.  What are all of these people doing that matters?  They are choosing to act!  They are choosing to make a difference!  They are choosing to let other people know that they matter; that all lives matter!  All we need to do to change the direction we are going is to do the right thing.  If each of us could just choose to do the next right thing and be patient with one another, every day, we would be so much better off.  It’s not hard, but yet seems to be.  It’s because all too often, the right thing may not be the most popular thing to do.  Being patient isn’t how we are wired today in our society.  However, in the end, we will get much greater rewards if we can do just that – Be Patient and kind to one another.

So, instead of looking to others to change our lives, we need to concentrate on changing what we have control over – ourselves.  We may find that by doing so we’ll start to see something different around all of us.  When we do the right thing and are patient, our example will begin to be noticed by our children, family, friends and neighbors.  They, in turn, may do the same.  We may not succeed all of the time.  In fact, we won’t; we are human and we are flawed.  We will make mistakes but when we bring focus to what is important we are likely to make fewer and, as a result, change our situation.  That in turn can help promote change in our immediate community and who knows, maybe it could be the start of a movement for which we can all take credit for.

Be Great!  Be Strong!  Be Determined!


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