Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Will You See?

Dear Olive,

I have so many drafts, so many blog posts for you I haven't published. They are all just starts, incomplete... but they are there all the same.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the state of the world. I mean, it's something I have grappled with for years, but there are even more things opening my eyes outside of the devastation that usually brings me down. I think about our future, what kind of security we will have to offer you, and most of all, what kind of world you will live to see.

I don't know how to deal with my feelings, they suffocate me from time to time, and I get overwhelmed and start to drown in the idea that we just blink an eye, and leave this earth behind. What am I contributing? What will be left for you?

But it never fails, that year after year, I come back to the same message that always re-grounds me. I put it up on my different blogs all the time, a reminder to myself and now to you.

It has come to me from different sources, but started with one college professor, Gary Oddou.

Technically, the class was about global business, but more so than that, it was about how to be open minded, look at problems from more than one angle, and how to see our own strengths and weaknesses. We were required to write journals every week, and in one of them I said:

"I want to make a difference in the world, but I just don't know how."

This was his response, scribbled in the margins-

"A difference in the world can happen quietly. A right word spoken here or there. A good example at the right time. These kinds of things aren't as visible as some but can be as or more impactful. Quiet exchanges between 2 people. That's where most of the good is done in the world."

And even though this was years ago, while I was trudging along in school, discouraged at how I was ever going to contribute anything to the world, I still come back to his advice, now almost a decade later.

Olive, when you don't feel like you are getting anywhere, just remember you can always grow where you are planted.