The winter solstice, a year ending, a new one beginning; all harbingers, heralds of change. It’s a time that invites us to pause and reflect on ourselves, our lives and the world around us.
In her song “I Need to Wake Up” Melissa Ethridge writes:
Have I been sleeping?
I've been so still
Afraid of crumbling
Have I been careless?
Dismissing all the distant rumblings
Take me where I am supposed to be
To comprehend the things that I can't see
'Cause I need to move
I need to wake up
I need to change
I need to shake up
I need to speak out
Something's got to break up
I've been asleep
And I need to wake up
As I listen to or read these words, I have to ask myself; have I been asleep? Do I need to wake up? Are there conditions in my life, or the world around me, that I’ve ignored or postponed?
The world is a pretty crazy place right now. We’ve never been so divided as a country, as a world. And in all of the craziness, it’s very easy to let our focus drift “out there”, to spend our time and energy focused on what needs to change on in the world, as opposed to in ourselves. Perhaps, we’re speaking out and taking action, perhaps just quietly bemoaning the current state of things.
While we all need to witness the world around us and speak up when we see something wrong, few of us can directly impact the big issues facing mankind today. I’m not the president so I cannot single-handedly negotiate harmony among all nations. Neither am I a scientist, so I’m unlikely to solve global warming or world hunger. But that does not mean I am absolved of responsibility.
We in a world or interconnection. Everything affects everything else. Any action (or inaction) we take, large or small, has consequences, produces ‘ripples in the pond’. So, I’m challenging each of us to own our small role in the world. To think and act responsibly. To trust that small actions taken consistently will produce a broad impact.
Lead with love. Practice random acts of kindness. Give up the need to be right. Start to look at the world not as divided states, races, or political parties; but as one humanity. Practice the golden rule, and treat our fellow human beings and the planet the way we would want to be treated.
Individuals taking small, but brave action can and will produce great change.
“I need to wake up. I need to change. I need to shake up. I need to speak out. Something's got to break up. I've been asleep, and I need to wake up. Now”
Be well everybody ~ john