People ask me what does it takes to change the world. It seems slightly amusing that the look on their faces is always the same, puzzled and confused. As if the idea of changing the world is an insurmountable task that only the very elite can achieve. Many seem to have this view that helping others and changing the world cannot be done, so we choose not to bother. What if a single person could change the world? If it took minimal effort, would you attempt?
As of today, there are an estimated 7.8 billion people in the world. With that number, I can see why the thought of helping others seems impossible. The fact is, the world is a big place, filled with a lot of people and what appears to be a lot of chaos. The media is a constant reminder of how challenging this place can be as it continuously fills our thoughts with the violence that happens daily. Sadly, it is in our nature to focus on what we view as painful and destructive because it is easier to give in to our fears than to face them.
If I mention the word compassion, I can bet everyone can tell me the definition of this word, but how well do we understand it? To understand compassion, we must understand what it means beyond the actual meaning. To understand compassion beyond the definition means we must understand it within ourselves, and that is how we change the world.
I believe that the biggest mistake we make is thinking that to change the world, we have to get out there, be famous, make millions of dollars, and teach people how to be more kind. The great news is that this is not true! The best way to change the world is to change how you treat others and react to those around you. Compassion, in my view, is deeply underestimated. Simply, it starts with understanding that small random acts of daily kindness have a much more significant impact than we give them credit. The reason why we underestimate compassion is that most of us are never around to see the effect it has on others. I have come to realize that through many years of sharing compassion that random acts of kindness, no matter how small, can change a person’s day.
Let’s be honest; everyone has struggles and challenges. We all experience the struggle that challenges us to our very core, and because of this, it often changes who we are and how we treat people. Remember, there are 7.8 billion people all experiencing their struggles and challenges just like you. Now imagine you are having a hard day, and your mood is not so pleasant. When someone fights with you, it is easier to fight back because you’re already up for it. Now, what if someone offers you kindness in the form of a compliment, opening the door, or offering you help in some way, your mood changes instantly, and you go about your day differently. It has a direct effect on you and most likely will inspire you to do something nice for someone else.
Compassion, as does anything else we put out, spreads like a virus. This past year, mostly everyone has feared the Corona virus. That fear has seemed to circulate faster than the virus itself. Now imagine if we put as much energy into compassion towards one another. It would spread just as quickly as our fears. We would be a little happier, a little more optimistic, and much more open with who we are. We would no longer hide in the defensive armor we wear every day. It’s as easy as making a conscious choice to be a little more kind, a little more helpful, a little more accepting, and a little more compassionate each day. You can change the world. You have the power to transform those around into more compassionate people. Your actions of who you choose to be will be much more than just words.