Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do One Small Thing

I have a buck and seven cents in change roaming around my car. That buys any number of things from a dollar menu at a fast food joint in Indiana. (Depending on what state you live in, the seven cents could be a penny or two more or less, but the dollar menu price remains the same.) I know that I don't have the ability to take a homeless person out to a nice meal because I don't have the ability to take myself out to a nice meal. But I drop a dollar seven like it's nothing most of the time. Wouldn't be too difficult to buy a McSomething and hand it over to McSomeoneElse. That's one small thing we can do.

I have 24 hours in each day of my life. Granted, I'm a pretty busy person with a husband, three kids, two dogs, two jobs, an involvement with community theatre, and a non-profit organization to get off the ground, but there's got to be an hour a week (or even a MONTH) where I can say, "This hour belongs to someone else. I'm going to donate this hour to help paint, clean, teach, sew, babysit, volunteer..." and then use that hour to make a difference in the life of someone else. Whether it's stocking at a food pantry, watching a toddler so a single mom can go to a job interview, serving at a soup kitchen, moving furniture into someone's first apartment -- I can help make it happen. And, if I'm honest with myself, I can probably do it for two or three hours instead of just one. That's one small thing we can do.

I try to take a walk pretty often, sometimes even once a day. I see a lot of trash on the side of the road, even in my small subdivision. I get annoyed, but it's there every day. Someone should clean it up. It's probably not going to be the person who tossed it out their window. It's not too difficult to sling a re-usable bag or two over my shoulder and pick up plastic bottles, aluminum cans, candy bar wrappers and fast food bags, then put them in my trash and recycling when I get back home. Plus, the bending is likely good for my abs. That's one small thing we can do.

Who doesn't love the great big price rollback store, am I right? Where they put one or two items in your thin plastic bag, then double bag it so it won't fall through, and when you purchase five items you come home with approximately 37 bags? Not too hard to take a re-usable with you and ask the cashier to put your items in there or even use the self-checkout so you can do it yourself. And I know it's 2013 and we're not living in those days where we help sweet little old ladies with their groceries... but... what if we did, anyway? What if we actually returned our cart to the corral? Or someone else's that 'forgot'? What if we smiled? What if we didn't glare angrily at the screaming infant in the cart or the three-year-old that's jumping up and down begging and throwing a tantrum for a candy bar but, instead, let the mother know we have compassion? What if we didn't tap our fingers and roll our eyes when the cashier doesn't get the scanner to work right on the first two tries? What if we thanked everyone for everything they did for us? That's eight small things we can do.

No one can can change the world. False.
No ONE can change the world. True.

There's a very small word that puts everybody together in the same boat on this planet: we.

WE can change the world. WE just have to do it together.

Stephanie Jean