Do you make a difference to those around you?

August 1, 2019

make-a-differenceIt’s been almost four years since my dear friend passed away and yet, she comes to mind almost every single day. Why is that?

The truth is, I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on why she became so important to me. Why she made such a difference in my life. I suspect it was her authenticity. How down to earth she was. How honest. But I’ve known many other authentic people I barely think about.

Some people set out to make a difference in the lives of others, but with her, it just happened, in the course of her all too short life. It was natural.

Asking deep questions

We don’t set out to make a difference to others, I don’t think. Not most of us. But in this world that’s so dark, at least right now, maybe it’s something we should think about. It would be a different world if we considered how we treated others–yes, people we know but also people we don’t know.

You matter. They matter.

Here’s an example: If we wouldn’t put our own kids in cages, why is it ok to put the children of others there? What’s the impact of doing that, and if we believe that’s ok (for whatever political justification) then do we own the impact that act has on these kids and their families?

Do we see the moment when these families get that many Americans do not care about them or their children? That many do not believe in the very thing our country always has insisted we stood for?

Do we see the moment when they get that backs are turned and faces turned away?

If we really saw that moment, could we do it? Could we turn our backs?

We can make a difference, a very personal difference, on the lives of others. How we treat those we know can make a difference, but so does how we treat those we don’t know. And so do our politics.They make a difference.

What kind of difference do you—and your politics — make?

And that’s what I’m thinking about today.

6 comments on “Do you make a difference to those around you?
  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for this post. I have been thinking about this topic as well. Who I want in my life and who I don’t. How I treat people and how they treat me. Admittedky, the last few years have been tough. My whole world had become sort of a twilight zone. I know the shift came with the 2016 election. Something felt different, unsettling and it went down from there. I’m working through it, keeping those who energize and “get” me close and letting others go who drain my energy. Politics has divided us and caused so much harm that it is hard to comprehend how we got to this point. I am choosing to be a helper, a persob who cares about important issues, humanity, fairness, compsssion, a person who cares about others no matter their politics. I also choose to let go of those who I have tried to understand and be fair to but they have not reciprocated. Our priority is to ourselves first so we can heal and grow and be there for others who need us. Others are important, yes. I am polite to strangers, I have done a lot of volunteer work, I perform random acts of kindness and the like. All that starts with taking care of me first, though.

  2. Susan cooper says:

    I have been astonished at the shear cruelty and lack of compassion of some in our society, some are among family and now past friends. I have been propelled into activism like never before. I have decided if this is going to change, I need to do my part. This weekend, I along with a number of new friends and acquaintances, are preparing hygiene kits for incarcerated immigrant kids. I am writing postcards to reluctant voters tonight and I’m leading a texting team to get out the vote and to encourage new people to run for office etc. All this helps distract me from the current chaos. 😢

  3. Ellen says:

    I’ve never been very politically involved, but the craziness of the past few years has me almost in disbelief. We are one nation, yet it feels so divided. I believe we are near a low point from which we will bounce off into a much better place.

  4. Here in the UK politics is really dividing the nation including families in particular with regards to Brexit. Since becoming pregnant and having Elsie I’ve decided not to let toxic people stay in our lives.

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