Small Beginnings

This goes out to you, Aaron

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am a race horse. It’s my personality. I’m off and running with the first glimmer of a new idea. I’m the horse on steroids and when the steroids wear off so does my enthusiasm. I’ve not really struggled with inner voices that tell me I can’t do something. I have the opposite problem, I pretty much think I’m capable of accomplishing anything. With this ambition comes taking on more than I can handle and getting myself overly committed or excited about a future project that has yet to even develop. Things also don’t move fast enough for me. Once something isn’t quite working I’m onto my next thing. Poof! Just like that!

There are values and passions that have kept themselves steady over the years. In fact it’s not my core values or my passions that keep changing, it’s the ways in which I want to express my passions that goes from one idea to the next. I am just that… an idea person. I’m a networker and I love to champion others in their quest to change the world around them.

What I find is that this age (I just can’t bring myself to use the word, ‘generation’ right now) that we live in has been culturized by the world around us. Every move forward has to be NOW and it has to be BIG. “I’m gonna’ be….a history maker in this land” If you aren’t making history what are you making? I guess nothing. Bullocks!

I love how fast our lives have changed over that past 50 years. Technology has moved at break neck speed and those of us in our 30s are going to have kids that know how to use devices that we’ve never even imagined. Think of your grandparents trying to use the remote control. I shouldn’t mock I can’t use a modern remote to save my life. Why does anyone need seven remotes for one entertainment center? And the fact that we call them entertainment centers… But I digress.

We have paid a price for all of the speed in our lives today and some of that has been our own ‘peace’ of mind. “If I haven’t made my mark by the time I’m 30 or so I might as well start working the graveyard shirt at Top Foods and develop a strong drinking habit in the middle of the afternoon” There is a pressure to ‘leave something behind’; to make your mark on the world. I’m all for it and believe we are capable of it. In fact, many people will actually go down in history as world changers. But there are others who change the world in more subtle, silent ways. They perhaps will never have a section in Webster’s Encyclopedia, or even Wikipedia for that matter (unless they write it themselves). These are the people I want to be like yet I struggle to be like because I want change and I want it now!!!

Brother Andrew just peeled potatoes, cleaned a monastery and gardened but he was at peace with his soul and with his Maker. Mother Teresa just took a man home one day who was lying in the gutter and cleaned him off. He died the next day. So she went out and found another man. Then another. I don’t think she ever pursued a ‘calling’ in hospice work or tried to form a pyramid sized ministry that stretched over continents. I think she just did the next thing that was in front of her. I love it!!!

Yet here is the dilemma: often people don’t dare to dream because they see the dream in all of it’s grand glory and think they can’t possibly achieve that. Well, they’re probably right, at least right now. But if they dream out of their passion and just do what is possible for them to do, maybe what is right in front of them, it often snowballs into something grand. And even if it doesn’t they are still doing what they love. They just don’t get that page on Wikipedia written about their greatness.

I have many friends all over the world who are class A, quality individuals and as I watch their lives I couldn’t admire them more if I tried. They are doing what they love, and it just so happens to be what they are good at and what comes a bit naturally (with hard work, of course) and instead of shooting for the fame and the name they are making a shift in their community, neighborhood, area, and world around them. Fan-tastic! They are the people I really admire. They work slow and steady and what they do, they do very well. No hurries. Life can go on with or without them, they are doing what they are doing based out of who they are and what their passions are. The ironic thing is that their humility and commitment to quality is actually bringing them into a place of more influence. Go figure.

So I say, along with Glen Hansard, “Make art! Make art!” Be the artist that you know you are and live your dreams but start small and faithful. I should really practice what I preach. Well, this website is the practice of my preaching. It’s not much, it’s small. Not many people read. But those that do are able to be inspired and to inspire me and others along the journey.

Here’s to the whole of life!


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