Everything You Do

First off, please allow me to remind everyone that this is a Safe Space. I absolutely do not concern myself with what you do or do not believe, whom you do or do not worship, or how you do or do not live your religious/spiritual life; all I ask is that we all play nicely, share the toys, and don’t make me come down there. My beliefs are my own, and this isn’t really the place to spell them out (for one thing, it takes an awfully long time and involves a lot of caveats); however, I reserve the right to freely and unabashedly (split infinitives, and) swipe music, art, quotes, ideas, and thoughts from pretty much anything that suits my fancy. If it fits into my view of the cosmos, it gets blended in. And that’s half the fun of life right there.

With that in mind, I invite you to take a few minutes to watch this nifty video. Feel free to sing along if you know the song.

When I was a teenager, I was going to save the world. That was my plan. I was going to teach, or write, or maybe somehow win the Nobel Peace Prize (I hadn’t really worked out the details on that one yet); but somehow, my existence was going to Mean Something Big and Important. I was going to make a difference. I was going to make a dent. And when I died, by gosh, the streets were going to fill with people wearing black armbands, and they’d probably have to declare a national day of mourning and fly all the flags at half-staff, because I was going to be that important.

A few years later, I’ve realized that if I’m going to win that Nobel Prize, I should really start making a more concrete plan, like, right this second. Realistically, odds are best that I’m not going to have to find room on the mantel anytime soon. Today, for example, I’m doing laundry; and unless the Nobel committee has made some changes I don’t know about, I’m pretty sure there’s not a Prize for sock-matching or underwear-folding (though I’m really quite good at both).

So while I grant that there’s still plenty of life left in this chassis, I think it’s probably a safe bet that I’m not really going to end up changing the world, at least not on the scale that I had originally envisioned. But y’know, that’s totally ok. Here’s why:

I am learning that changing the world doesn’t necessarily require any plane tickets; it just requires a commitment to making every one of your verbs count. Even the mundane ones.

You know that old gem about how to the world you may be just one person, but to one person you might be the world? It all comes back to that for me. Sure, today is “just laundry day”, but having clean clothes means my husband can go to work, where he earns the money that lets us buy a little extra food to donate to the local food pantry. It’s a pretty tenuous connection, granted, but it’s still true: my washing Moon Man’s underpants means somebody down the road might not have to go to bed hungry. Arguably, this makes laundry feel a bit less like drudgery and a bit more like something that should involve a superhero cape.

The same holds true for our little container garden. We stuck some seeds and some plants into pots, and I water them each day, and eventually–through the magic of nature or god or science or whatever explanation makes you happiest–they turn into food. Just all by themselves, with no real interference from me; you just go outside and suddenly, poof!, there’s some broccoli, hangin’ out in the sunshine and waiting to become part of dinner. Is my growing a broccoli going to completely revolutionize the world? Probably not; but it’s one little step toward being less reliant on the corporate food industry, and maybe if enough people take that one step, we can–as a community–cause some legitimate change.

And ditto for this little blog. Word has gotten back to me that every so often I’ll write something that is exactly what someone needed to hear that day–either it has served to encourage them, or lift their spirits, or make them laugh, or reminded them that it’s ok to feel angry or sad, or let them know that they’re not alone in the world–and I’ve gotta tell ya, it actually makes me a little sniffly-happy to hear things like that. ‘Cause I’m just a gal in a housedress, sending her thoughts out into the universe, and if that means I can help make the world a better place without even putting on real clothes, fer cryin’ out loud, then my inner teenage visionary is just going to have to be content with that, because that is a pretty darned good thing to be doing.

So take a moment today and reflect on how you–and all the little things you do each day–are, or can become, a blessing to the world around you. Think about how you can make every verb count; and think about how every verb already counts, whether you’ve thought it all the way through or not.

You matter, and I love you for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I heard my dryer buzz, so I’m just gonna go save the world via some well-folded underpants.


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