What will make this year different from last year?
It has often been said that the definition of insanity is continually doing the same thing and hoping that we will get different results. Corporations make things that they’ve always sold but fewer people are buying and just hope that it will come back in style. Our government does it when they spend more money on programs that didn’t work the first four times. Churches do it when attendance is shrinking and all that anyone wants to do is remember the good old days and hope that things will change without actually changing anything.
And as individuals, we it too. We hope that we will make more money this year, or will be more productive this year, or lose weight, or be more spiritual, or spend more time with people we care about, or a million other things, but our “plan” is to do the same things we did last year and hope that we get a different result.
This is insanity.
In a few months, many of us will complain that this year is too much like last year. And it will be entirely our fault. If we want a different result, we must do something different.
We can change the world, but we must first change ourselves. This is my challenge: Spread your wings. Try something you haven’t tried before. Do things you haven’t done before. Be bold. Take risks (even small ones).
Choose one thing.
What is it that makes you angry?
Hunger? Poverty? Children without families? Human trafficking? Politicians?
And then DO something about it.
If hunger and poverty bother you, volunteer at a food pantry or buy five bucks worth of extra groceries when you go shopping. I once took a group of Cub Scouts to the grocery store for a program called “Scouting for food.” We stood in front of the store (with permission) and asked patrons to buy one extra can of something to feed the hungry.
One – extra – can.
In three hours we packed a minivan full of food.
If politics bothers you, do something about it. How often have you written (or called, or emailed, or faxed) your Congressman? Shared your feelings with your city council representative? Protested? Voted? Heck, if you have the time, why not run for office? Get out and do something you haven’t done.
If children without families, or children in foster care, or abused children make you angry, then do something about it. Why not be trained as a foster parent? Even if you don’t want to be a full time parent, there is always a need for licensed foster parents to provide respite (which could be as little as a day or as long as a few weeks, but it’s up to you) for others who need a break. You could take in college-aged, former foster kids on holidays when they get kicked out of their university dorm-rooms. If you are retired and past the age or parenting why not volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)? With a little bit of training, you would meet children involved in the legal system and speak for them in legal proceedings. Instead of complaining, do something.
If you wanted to be more spiritual or grow closer to God, did you think that’s going to happen all by itself? The Bible won’t soak into your head if you leave it under your pillow any more than your history book did when you tried it in High School. Join a Bible Study. Commit to praying or reading the Bible more than you did last year. Commit to pray, or read, or listen to an audio Bible, for five minutes a day.
Doing the same things you did last year and hoping this year will be different is insane.
Don’t be insane.
You can change the world.
You can make the world a better place.
Maybe not for everyone, but for someone.