I’m sure most of you have heard the famous quote that is most often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (although that accuracy can be debated, its point is still relevant):
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This quote has been on my mind a lot lately. Realistically, as one person, can I really make enough of an impact to cause change in this big, and at times, scary world? To be honest, sometimes the answer feels like a big, resounding “No.” However, I have been given a fresh, and much needed, reminder that one person, can in fact, change the course of someone’s whole day.
My family had a bit of a hard week last week, as my grandpa just had a stroke (thankfully he is making positive improvements all the time). While the week was a bit of an emotional roller coaster, there were some beautiful moments, simple as they may have been, that were reminders of hope.
For example, while in the emergency room, waiting to hear the next steps for my grandpa, I noticed a table full of books. Upon closer examination, I saw that all of these books were free to take for anyone who wanted them. I had many family members to talk to, but as I looked around, I noticed that others were waiting alone. I’ve always loved how books allow us a means of comfort or escape when we need it, and I thought it was truly wonderful that this was an option for both the patients and families at the hospital.
At another point, in yet another waiting room, I found a basket filled with snacks that we were able to take for free. I chose a package of peanut butter crackers, and as I went to open it, I saw that it had a sticker stating what church had provided the goodies, along with, a Bible verse. My mom also had a lady she talked with on the elevator decide to pay for her coffee while waiting in line with her at the cafe, simply stating “pay it forward.”
What’s my point?
Someone took time to donate those books.
The church gave of their resources to provide those snacks.
That woman from the elevator wasn’t just generous with her money, but her conversation.
It’s not always about the quantity of people reached by the change you’re wanting to bring, it’s the quality of the moment you’re creating for someone. It’s also not always going to be a monumental event with neon signs, but that one moment of kindness you’re sharing could be the thing that reminds someone going through a really hard time that it’s going to be okay.
We’ll never truly know how much change is possible until we’re all personally willing to make those attitude adjustments ourselves. So let’s smile extra at someone, send that card or bouquet we’ve been thinking about sending, ask someone how they’re doing and truly listen to their response… whatever is necessary to be the change in our corner of the world.
And to the church who decided to donate those crackers to the veteran’s hospital… you changed one girl’s day by calming her body and mind with physical nourishment and positive affirmation from God’s Word when she needed a reminder… a special thank you!