So often when we see a need, we look around us and think somebody should do something. We look around for someone skilled in a certain area, or who has disposable income, or who has time on his/her hands. We look for experts. When they don’t step forward, we judge them. They could afford to give money, how cheap of them to hold back. They know a lot about the topic of interest, they should step forward. They are retired, or single (this one in particular really gets my goat), or aren’t overcommitted like you are. They should give some time.
Well I am here to tell you that it’s time to stop looking around for someone to jump in the ring, stop judging what others should do and start raising your hand. The world needs you as much as “them.” YOU have a gift. YOU have a calling. YOU are created to live an abundant life; and part of living an abundant life is the joy you get from helping others, using your gifts and talents and money. You don’t have to have a lot of any of those things, but everyone has something. Everyone can give something.
We have a tendency to look around at people who are active in the community and be impressed, or be jealous, or judge them for showing off. Stop it. That drains your energy and devalues you.
Every human is connected in some way to every other human. Actually we are connected to everything in creation. We are one. So when we help one, we are helping all, including ourselves. Your success is my success and mine is yours. Your joy is mine and visa versa. What limits the expression of that are negative, helpless thoughts and beliefs.
Today, my kidney got entered into the National Kidney Registry. No, my kidney is not special. But I know someone in final stage renal failure who has no functioning kidneys. We are not a match per se, but my donation enables him to also enter the NKR for live donations. This simple act could save his life. For a year, I saw his posts on FB and thought, I’m too old, I have this health issue or I’m busy or whatever reason passed through my mind, until I thought, “Well why not apply? The worst thing they can say is no. But perhaps there is a chance.” And Bingo! I qualified. How cool is that?
Similarly, when I heard someone speak about the number of children in our affluent county that struggle with hunger, I was appalled, so I started to ask questions. Then after going through my list of solid reasons why I couldn’t do anything about that, like “Wow, raising ten thousand dollars is hard. I don’t know if I can do this every year. Organizing events is difficult, etc.” I asked the simple question, “Why not?”
We have held a food assembly event for the last 2 years in our community.
However, knowing that feeding children is just a temporary band aid for a symptom and not fixing the source of the problem I began asking myself what I could do that would remedy the problem. From that little conversation in my head, came the Be the Change Foundation, a training program to teach women in our area to be entrepreneurs, and thus help raise the income level in their families.
I have seen many women make a decision to respond to their current circumstances by helping in many areas: Trafficking, feeding the hungry, providing opportunities for clean safe fun for children, to help quell the opioid epidemic, to help people thinking of suicide. All because they heard there was a need, or it became their own need and they decided that they were Somebody who could make a difference. They inspire me.
I believe it’s Dr. Seuss’ book, The Cat in the Hat, in which the mom is looking for somebody to clean the house. “Somebody, somebody has to you see; then she picked out two somebodies, Sally and me.” I have learned that whether or not I feel equipped or empowered, I still am Somebody. So rather than looking around for someone else to solve the problem, I decide what it is I can do and go from there.
What I’ve learned is that, once you start, people are more that willing to join in. Making a decision to do something becomes a springboard from which others can jump right in. It inspires others to be their best selves. It encourages them to look within and discover their own gifts and use them, which bring joy and a sense of community and belonging. It takes Somebody to make a difference. Why not you?