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Confessions of a Realistic Pollyanna

Change the world

There are some people who have truly changed the world. Because of their acts and inventions, the world will never be the same. Take Martin Luther. When that monk posted his 95 thesis on the cathedral door in Wittenburg, the Western World was forever changed. When Florence Nightingale demonstrated that by offering healing care, lives could be extended, health care took a forever leap forward. When Madame Curie discovered Radium, the world of medicine and science advanced. When Ghandi showed how to resist an empire through peaceful resistance, the world shifted. Isaac Newton, Christopher Columbus, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc, Marco Polo, and others left an indelible mark on world. These people are the exceptions in the world.

I am like most people in the world though. I am not the smartest. I am not the star athlete. I have my gifts, talents, foibles, and faults, but I don't think there is anything that I am absolutely the best in the world. I can write, but I am not Shakespeare. I can preach, but other's do it better. I can sing, but I am not a star. Unlike the famous and the infamous, I am known only amongst my circle of friends, family, and colleagues. I doubt that ever crowds will be shouting my name or studying about me in Bolivia, Brundi, or Bhutan.

But that does not mean that the billions of ordinary people like myself cannot make a difference. And maybe if we all tried, our world could be changed. Take for instance, a true story of a woman who was part of my congregation. She had a dreadful job. She worked in the collections department of a major credit card firm. All day long, she and her colleagues had to make calls to people who were over-extended in their debt. They heard many sad stories. My parishoner and her co-workers often faced horrific verbal abuse from the people they called. It was an extremely depressing environment. When she began there, my parishoner noted that absentee rates were high in the office and people moved on quite quickly to a different department in the bankSo my parishoner decided that she would make it her business to bring some joy to the workplace. She would ensure that significant dates in her co-workers were celebrated. She would bake and bring delicious goodies into work. It was a small thing. But it made working there just that much easier. Absentee rates dropped. People stayed in the department longer. She had changed her corner of the world by just spreading some kindness.

 

And sometimes it is just that small act that act change the world. The community library that we just placed outside the church is an example. It cost our church a few dollars. It took up a bit of land in our garden. But it was not a great sacrifice. Already though, the library is being used . Books are being exchanged. Our garden is once again proving to be a community hub. All of us can do small things to make our corner of the world better. Helping a friend, volunteering at an agency, working for community improvements are all examples of these things. No this won't make us famous like Sister Kenny or Paul McCartney. But our world will be changed. Blessings.

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