When we are young we have idealistic ideas about how we will change the world. Then as we grow up we become more cynical and we give up these lofty thoughts. “How can I change the world?” we ask. “I am too small and insignificant.” So we give up and concentrate on what makes us happy, or what makes us money.
But I say, not only can we change the world, it is our duty to do our bit, however small. Here is a little story to illustrate the point.
On my morning stroll on the boardwalk this morning, my dog was peacefully saying hello to some other dogs. All of a sudden she started jumping and yapping and so did the other dog. They had a bit of a tussle and I pulled my dog away.
A few moments later I noticed that her legs were covered in ants. So I understood that what happened had probably started because of the ants.
On my way back, I wanted to look at where we had been standing to see if I could find an ants’ nest right there. Before I got a chance to approach, a white woman started shouting at a gardener who was strimming the overgrown weeds. He was an Afro-Caribbean man.
Then she carried on walking completely oblivious of the effect she had had on him. In the meantime he just stood there without moving for a full minute. He was absolutely stunned in the literal sense.
I asked him if he was ok, and he explained that she had shouted at him for working near the path where she was walking. So I said I was sorry that had happened to him and that some people are grouchy in the mornings. Then I joked “That’s why she needs her morning walk.”
What I did was a very small thing but it also had an effect on him. I hope it made him feel less under attack, while also lightening the mood for him.
If he had been a white man, I feel sure she would not have shouted at him like that. But even if she would have, she has no right to shout at anyone for simply doing their job.
I would understand if she was in an important meeting and he came in and disturbed her at a crucial moment. She might be justified in asking him to come back later. And it would be understandable if she had raised her voice because of stress.
But here was a man working specifically to make her walk experience better! His cutting the weeds was not only tidying the path. It was actually protecting her from the ants which had crawled up the stalks to get to the path to bite dogs and walkers. So she should have been grateful to him!
I am telling this story to illustrate that we all have choices many times during every day. We can either shout at people or thank them. We can either walk past and ignore a need or we can address it. And whichever one we do will have an effect on someone that we are not necessarily aware of. So in that sense we can all change the world, right where we are, one person at a time.
If you want any help with changing the world, I invite you to try out a powerful coaching call. Don’t worry about cost, because this is my gift to you.
Lastly, please spread the love and share with someone who might benefit.