One of the things that I have been questioning as I’ve gotten older is what contributions have I made in this world; specifically, what GOOD or GREAT contributions have I made in this world?
And to be honest, I’ve struggled with this. As another birthday approaches, I’m reminded that another year has passed and what I have I really done to make the world a better place? When I looked for the answers, I was saddened that there aren’t any; that I haven’t done any such thing.
I almost feel selfish in this way. Someone told me recently that not everyone is meant to be an Einstein, a Newton or a Curie. While that may be true, I have had moments when I questioned why I was here. What “grand scheme” does the Universe have for me? And did I miss the “message”?
And I liken this to people’s “gifts” as well. What is my “gift”? Do I even have a “gift”? Other than the “gift” of not being able to be succinct, do I have talents that can benefit the world?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not out to change the world. There are days that I can barely get out of bed and survive myself, let alone change the world. Do I wish I could? No. At least, not by myself. But I’ve always believed that if many people ban together, they can make changes – what might seem small at first, which then become bigger. And that’s amazing.
This has always been one of my favorite quotes:
If you don’t know who Margaret Mead is, here’s the link to her Wikipedia bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mead
1976 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Betty Williams is another woman to whom people should admire. In Northern Ireland in the 1970s, Ms. Williams witnessed the tragedy of 3 children being struck and killed by a car driven by an IRA member. Her non-violent rally of 10,000 to march for peace was, ironically, interrupted violently by the IRA. Not to be deterred, Ms. Williams again organized a peaceful protest rally the following week – and this time 35,000 people showed up and it went off successfully. She then co-founded The Community for Peace People. And as I said, later won the Nobel Peach Prize for her creation of The Community for Peace People. Betty Williams was “just” a receptionist and mother at the time she took it upon herself to make a change.
I don’t mention these women as a lesson in history or feminism but only as examples of when people saw a need for change and did something about it.
But my own personal contributions to society have never been, and likely never will be of this magnitude. And I realize that maybe I’m not meant to be someone “famous” who did something to help the world. Maybe, in my own way – the things I’ve done – have helped others and I’m not even aware of them.
Maybe this blog and my weight loss journey has helped someone to try to get healthier themselves. Maybe it’s inspired them to not give up and keep trying.
Maybe my financial contributions to charities I’m passionate about have helped to make a change for the better, or saved the life of an innocent animal. That maybe I’ve helped stop a rhino or elephant poacher in South Africa or allowed a dog or a cat to live long enough to find their forever home because I helped the no-kill shelter in my town.
Maybe – just maybe – I’m someone’s reason to get up in the morning. To smile. To feel like they are special. To know they are loved.
So yes, when I’m gone, I won’t leave some huge mark on the world that will has a lasting legacy, but as I reach another year older, I’m finally realizing that that’s okay too. No regrets.
So however you leave your mark in this World, make it one of honesty, kindness, and peace.
And I hope that, in some small way, that maybe I’m making my mark on your hearts as you’re making on mine. Thank you all for your continued support, kindness and love.
Blessings to all.