Make A Difference Where You Are
As one of my favorite television characters, Henry McCord (Madam Secretary) says:
“When everything seems to be lacking in integrity, you know what you do? You find it in yourself. You change the world right from where you're standing.”
You get off Facebook, you get off your butt - and you do something, anything. You don’t need to runaway from your (or the world’s) problems in order to fix them, you can double down right here. You don’t need to wait for tomorrow, you can find the strength and will today.
We have the tendency to believe that we must pick the right job, the right issue, the right commitment in order to make a difference in this world. Yet, there is no such thing as “right” in this respect.
All that there is is this and now.
We all want the world to become a better place, yet how few people are willing to make it better in their little corner of the world?
I’ve changed jobs a number of times since graduating college, finding myself at similar crossroads every time. I’m asking myself—is this the thing that I want to commit myself to?
This a hard question to ask, let alone to answer. The jury is out on whether it’s worth answering at all. Because the way I see it is that grand ambition, and the resulting heavy weight placed on today’s decisions, shouldn’t matter for a person like me. What matters is, like Henry says, is that I’m willing to find integrity where my feet are.
The next thing won’t be the thing that solves it for us, that lights a fire under our butts.
We can make a difference right here - you and me. We don’t need ‘more experience’ or better credentials. We don’t need to have this deal go through, or that one either. We don’t need to become Presidents of companies or countries.
We can make a difference right here.
The solution is so much simpler than we want it to be.
It’s just to start, despite the fact that the human condition is to wait.
And look, I get it. My diet starts on Monday, too. I have things blockading me, too (if even of my own making). Debt, fear, self-doubt.
But it’s time to stop waiting for some conditional future - where all the dominoes are perfectly lined up - to act.
If you want to be a good person, be one. If you want to be happy, start by being happy. If you want to make a difference in this world, then pick up a problem and put some effort into solving it.
Find integrity now.
Make a difference where you are.
That’s all you can do.