Over the years I have stuffed down my deepest desires in order to live in the here and now. Paying the bills, unfortunately, will always take front and center. In my mind, the future is way out there in a far away land. I’ve always felt as though I would “eventually” arrive at my future destination with goals achieved, yet each year my heart screams more and more for freedom. In all of this mess, fear paralyzes me. I have many crutches, irrational thoughts, and a low belief in myself because of my training or resources. I get angry and I give up (on the outside).
When I get to feeling this way, I try to find things to inspire me. I read quite a bit and have a love/hate relationship with those stories of people that wake up one day and suddenly have it all figured out. Why can’t that be me? Better yet, are they these people even real? After awhile I get nauseated and retreat into my failure shell. I have nothing against any of them except it tends to complicate my head and the stories become a distraction.
In a world that tells us status and materialism is the ultimate goal, I find comfort in knowing that seemingly unimportant people in history have affected more lives and accomplished more than those who THINK they are important. These “nothings”achieved the impossible. These were people that failed – just like me. They were people that came from nothing and changed the world around them. They are people like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Abe Lincoln, and Gandhi. I have learned many things from all of them and I am thankful for their achievements. Our world is a better place because they answered the call of courage.
I also like the stories of everyday people that aren’t destined to feed the hungry or heal racial inequality. These people are the seemingly “nothings” that don’t get the spotlight. They are mothers who shape the world through the love they show to their children, or teachers who see greatness in children with behavioral problems; doctors and nurses that heal the sick, or the one person who volunteers their time to help a child learn to read.
There are many people in this world who try to make the world a better place by loving others in whatever way they know how. I have friend who volunteered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She was a hero to a little girl who had a difficult circumstances at home. She changed her life by spending time with her and showing her that there are good caring people in the world, and that she mattered. She wasn’t forgotten (that makes me smile).
I’ve seen goodness emerge because of a need that one person noticed. Ten years ago, I had a group of friends help a single dad move from a poor dilapidated apartment with his children, to a newly renovated place set up for disabled tenants (he was disabled by a horrible accident that left him a paraplegic). They packed him, moved him, got him furniture, food, and connected him to a place that could train him for an occupation. This included helping him work toward an associates degree in his dream career of Architecture. Because of them, he is now thriving in a way he could have never imagined, living in another state. These are my heroes.
You can always judge a man’s character by the way they treat those that cannot do anything for them – Author Unknown
In each instance it just took one person to see a need and to volunteer their time. Because of a small investment, they were able to change a life. They all have been used in this world to bring comfort and love to those forgotten. Nothings helping nothings. It’s a beautiful thing! Regardless of how we feel about ourselves, I believe each person has a contribution on this earth. We don’t have to be shiny and all put together. We just need to be true to ourselves along with ideas and dreams that are within us all.