Just about every evening, my wife Janae and I will ask each other, “did you change the world today?” Most of the time when people think about changing the world we think in terms of massive amounts of money, major world shaking projects, and political power and influence. What I have found to be true however is that most major world changing goes on every day with normal people who decide to live their lives with purpose and passion about making a difference today.
I am a Pastor and my wife is a teacher, so our occupations put us in position to truly, effectively change the world. The truth is however, I know a lot of pastors, and teachers who are passing up opportunities to change the world. We can all effectively change things for the better, but it is not something that happens automatically, or without intention and purpose.
A pastor can have opportunities to bring change, but get busy with urgent unimportant activities, and have day after day go by not having changed anything, or brought help to anyone. A teacher can get caught up in the day to day, and even be resentful of parents who wont help or kids who wont behave, and just do “the job.”
Every day everyone of us, no matter what we do, have opportunities to bring change, to help someone, to raise the bar, to care, to love, to change the world.
My wife works in a school system with great need. She has been working with her second graders on a presentation they were going to make. They had to make a report get their parents involved, and then present it in front of the class and their parents.
As it drew near many of them, because of the lack of parental involvement, didn’t appear to be ready. She could have given in to the status quo and accepted it as the norm, instead she made an impassioned plea to the kids, and let them know her expectations, and because she has spent time loving them, and going the extra mile caring for them, it has created an atmosphere of trust and respect. They arrived on presentation day and did an outstanding job. She has created in these kids a desire to learn.
Kids in these situations are many times aware of things that never enter the mind of kids who aren’t living in poverty. They’re aware of facts like “no one in their family graduating from high school or going to college.” She has inspired many of them in second grade to say, “I will finish high school and I will go to college.”
She has also brought a great change in many of the parents, getting more active with their kids, realizing how special their children are, and becoming proud of their accomplishments. She has a word for these kids who have been beat down, and had very little expectations placed on them. She calls them scholars, she says to them, “you are my scholars, you are brilliant, and you will succeed.”
So do what you can today, and when you go home tonight ask your loved ones, “did you change the world today?” With a little effort we can say, “yes, I did.”