When I was young, I prayed for world peace and for everyone to realize life is valuable and short. I dreamt we could put an end to atrocities like racism and poverty, and that we could get along, be happy, safe, and carefree. I know that seems naïve, especially with the current state of things; but I still pray and believe that we must and can do better.
I’ve always wanted my life to have purpose. My hope every day is to leave the world in a better place than it was the day before. In college, I fell in love with songwriting and acting because these art forms allowed me to connect with people, sort through complex issues, evoke emotion, and draw us closer to one another with better understanding. Even today, that’s why I freely write this column and why we do what we do through cityCURRENT: to try and make a difference, to bring our city together.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned one of the best ways I can make a difference is by helping one person a day. I say this after sitting down with a young professional who was distraught. He works hard at a corporate job and spends two nights a week and a few hours each weekend volunteering with different nonprofits to help youth in our city. He was excited to share that one of the kids he mentors had read three books over the summer and had become a much stronger reader. But, he said every night, when he turned on the news, he felt like the problems were getting bigger, not just in our city and nation, but in our world. And so, he felt disheartened.
The truth is, the world we live in is broken; but it’s also beautiful and filled with abundant GOOD that takes place every day, just without media attention. It’s easy to become hopeless when we constantly see evil around us and it seems larger than life, larger than one person can tackle; but that doesn’t mean we accept it because GOOD can and will prevail. Anytime you feel disheartened or don’t know where to start, focus on the power of one. Help one person a day, make a difference in one person’s life; and encourage them to do the same. Like seeing the youth improve his reading, we can see our impact firsthand and find the hope and courage to do more. Movements start with small actions; and the world needs more LOVE! When I changed my focus to helping one person a day it changed my attitude and outlook. How much could we change our city, nation, and world, if we all helped uplift one person a day?