OPINION – Imagine that you have just been given the opportunity to be published in a well-known journal with worldwide distribution. The topic you’ve been asked to address is: “What is wrong in the world today?”
Think for few moments about how you would answer that question.
Within the limited space of a published article, how would you frame your answers as well as your solutions to most effectively communicate your message to a worldwide audience? What would you identify as the biggest problems the world faces today? How would you persuade others that the solutions you offer are valid? Would you still be willing to accept the assignment?
In the early 20th century, a well-known newspaper writer named G.K. Chesterton was given the assignment to write about this question: “What is wrong in the world today?” He thought long and hard about what he would write and, in the end, he wrote a simple letter to the publisher that read:
“Dear Sirs, I am. Respectfully Yours, G.K. Chesterton
That simple two-word answer represents a profoundly intelligent take on where the solutions to most of the world’s problems can be found.
So many of the world’s problems appear to be outside of our control, but ultimately the solution is within each of us. My good friend, Mike Wilson, said, it effectively:
“Instead of blaming ‘government,’ and ‘Wall Street,’ we can focus on changing who we are and how we behave – first as individuals, then as families, then as communities.”
Inside each of us lies a sleeping giant who, awakened to action, has the very real power to change the world for the better. But it is a tendency of human nature to let the sleeping giant lie undisturbed, or to keep the giant sedated in order to remain in our comfort zone.
We buy into the idea that those who change the world were somehow born into greatness and that it came to them without effort. We allow ourselves to believe that the only people who change the world for the better are the ones who are widely recognized, lauded and promoted in the media.
But these are false ideas.
The reality is that every human soul contains seeds that, properly nourished, will bloom into utterly unique personal greatness that creates lasting impact on those around us.
When we worry that our contributions are too small to make a difference, we should remember the words of Helen Keller who said, “I long to do great and noble things. But it is my destiny to do small things in great and noble ways.”
Each of us can point to individuals who, in small ways, made a giant difference in our own lives. Were their efforts less worthwhile because the ones who did them aren’t a household name?
Right now there are two things the world desperately needs:
1. People who can think clearly and independently to see the world as it is.
2. People with a sense of personal mission who are willing to stop waiting for permission to change the world to what it should be, starting with themselves.
In a first aid course I took many years ago, we were taught that during a life-threatening emergency, the worst thing a person could do is call out, “Someone call 911!” Instead, we were told to take one individual by the arm and say directly to them, “You. Call 911.”
This way, instead of everyone assuming that someone better qualified would handle the task, one person takes the responsibility upon himself or herself and the call is made.
So, in the same spirit of that first aid class, this is your call to join the ranks of those who would change the world starting with themselves, to awaken the sleeping giant within you.
The world needs what your giant alone can contribute. Each of us has a mission to fulfill and a role to play. And once we’ve awakened the sleeping giant within us, we recognize that we have a corresponding duty to help inspire the other giants who walk among us, unaware of their true greatness. Imagine the impact of millions of people choosing to tap into their personal greatness rather than waiting for a top-down solution.
Gandhi once said, “What you do is insignificant, but it is essential that you do it.” He understood, that even small things, done in great ways, change the world more than we can imagine.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright 2012 St. George News.