I can’t help but hold my breath when I turn on my phone or computer. Every breaking news headline tells reminds us of the broken world. Where will the next tragedy strike? What selfish act will cause further pain? The level of hate, violence and injustice in the world seems like something out of a history book. There seems to be more darkness than light.
I’m left wondering what any of us can do, much less what I can do.
As I’ve pondered how in the world I could help, I was reminded of this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Dr. King spoke these words in a time that feels in many ways the same as today. Society was brimming with hatred, racism, fear, confusion, and doubt.
I know I cannot solve these complex issues. But, If King is correct, then you and I can be a part of the solution. We can help drive out the darkness with light. We can drive out hate with love.
This is not to say we should ignore the pain caused by the darkness. It is real. There are hurting families. There are children without fathers. There are families without husbands. We should lament. We should feel sad. And as time provides healing, we should strive to act. We should strive to be agents of light in the darkness.
How You Can Help
What if we all decided to add a little light to the world? What if we made a conscious effort to add love to the world?
One of the most important ways you will bring light and love into the world is by finding and fulfilling your calling.
When you find your calling, you bring a level of joy and potential to your own life like nothing else. Your energy increases. You see a future worth creating. You are willing to give more (or you should be!). But often unbeknownst to person fulfilling their calling, it’s others that benefit even more.
Have you ever gotten lost in a beautiful story that captured your imagination? Have you ever listened to a piece of music or the words of a song that inspired you? Have you ever had a photograph perfectly captures your newborn or wedding day? Have you ever laughed at a witty YouTube video?
If the answer is yes, then you’ve benefited from someone finding and fulfilling their calling.
Finding your calling can change your world and the world like nothing else.
What does this look like?
I think of friends like Tripp and Tyler that have fully embraced their calling to making people laugh.
Victor is changing education and inspiring thousands in the process.
Jeremy has launched so many incredible ideas to serve the world. His latest is bigger and bolder than anything yet: a hotel where every interaction serves a needed cause. (I’m a Kickstarter backer and think you should too!)
I could name hundreds of people following their calling and bringing light and love to the world. You don’t have to start an organization or work for a non-profit either. You can be a softball coach like my friend Sarah. You can be a designer like my friend Stephen. You can be a full-time parent. You can be a full-time anything and volunteer a few hours a week and do more good than most.
When you are around people like this, you can not help but be inspired. This is what happens when you find your calling and pursue it with great passion.
When you share your passion with the world, whether that’s writing or painting, teaching or singing, being an accountant or a social worker, you bring a little light to the world. You bring a little more hope and beauty that can only come from you.
I love helping people find their calling and passion. I love seeing people take a chance and starting their dream. I believe there’s never been a better time than now to do this. And there’s never been a more urgent time.
We need your art more than ever.
We need to read your words.
We need to feel your passion.
We need to hear your beautiful song.
We need to see your beautiful pictures.
We need to hear your wisdom.
We need to feel your energy for organizing.
We need to taste your incredible food.
We need you to be a great councilor.
We need you to be a joyful accountant.
We need you to be an inspiring teacher.
The world needs your passion for what you’ve been called to do. No one can do it like you can. No one can impact the same people as you. No one can influence your community like you. No one can love your family like you. No one else has inside them what you have inside of you.
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen
I love this by quote by Henri Nouwen. Can you imagine the potential change if everyone added a little light to the world?
I know the problems we are facing are complex and everyone walking around with a smile on their face won’t solve them. But we need more light to drive out the darkness. We need to focus on the beauty that’s possible, the change that’s possible, the hope that’s possible. Where can you add light?
Anne Frank was no stranger to evil.
“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank
Desmond Tutu was no stranger to darkness.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu
Where do I start?
Where you are:
Start in your home, school, work and community. Start by being a light in your home. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon. Be a light in your school or workplace. This can be as simple as saying thank you more often. Help someone with a chore that’s not your responsibility.
With what you have:
You don’t need to be famous, a CEO, or President to make an impact. Use what you have at your disposal today. Use your time. Use your connections. Smile. Be polite.
Use your social media connections to raise others up, instead of adding to the negativity that weighs much of online interactions down. Commit to only commenting with positive comments. Don’t throw more fuel on the fire. There’s enough people that do that.
Do you have a creative idea, but don’t know where to start? Have something that could bring light and love to the world, but you’re stuck? Here’s a 30 Day action plan for bringing the idea to life.
The world needs you to find your calling and pursue it with everything you’ve got.
What is your calling?
How are you pursuing it?