Be the Light. Be the Love. Be the Change.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

A few thoughts I scribbled down on this day to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I often think what can I do to help? I feel so small in this big, messy world. There’s so much work to do. Where would I start? I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

I want to be the change.

I do. I want to contribute more to world peace, equality, justice, and love. I want to alleviate poverty and hunger. I want all children to have more than enough food, love, security, and an equal opportunity at education. Actually, I wish that for all ages. I’m not a Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Sojourner Truth, or Rosa Parks. But, I do know, if I can do my part, no matter how small it might seem, it will help. It’s only when I do nothing, that I truly fail. To paraphrase a popular Pema Chödrön book title*: I just need to Start Where I Am.
So–for now, I’ll keep teaching my Prison Yoga class. I’ll drop off food and paper towels at my local cat rescue charity. I’ll give monetary donations to various reputable national and local charities, even if it’s only $10-$15. It’s something. I’ll give to canned food drives. I’ll march. I’ll stand up and speak up, even when it’s uncomfortable or unpopular. I will embrace diversity. I’ll listen. I’ll write. I’ll keep learning more. This is what I can do now.
If I wait until I have more time, more money, more resources, I may be waiting forever. 

May I practice more than I preach and give more than I take.

Let me, and each of us, be the light that is so needed in this darkness.

And more than that, let us be the love.


*The Pema Chödrön book is actually Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. It helped me to develop the courage and compassion I needed to live a meaningful, deep, authentic life. This directly inspires me to be the change.
Start. Believe. Be.
It’s available through Quail Ridge Books.

19 thoughts on “Be the Light. Be the Love. Be the Change.

  1. Hi Cheryl, I’m thinking we both read and learn from the same kind of books. Pema Chodron is a favorite of mine when my spiritual well has run dry. I just bought Jack Kornfield’s “No Time Like the Present” and read it last thing before sleep. It’s structured a bit different than his other works, but it’s wonderful just the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I will check this book out. I like his teaching a lot. I return to ‘A Path with Heart’ often. Pema’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ is one of my all time favorites. I appreciate any book suggestions you have as you read. It does seem like we read similar books and teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The media, unfortunately, is a significant piece of the problem — constantly sensationalizing and keeping people on edge. Imagine how good we would feel if they spent half of a news cast reporting positive aspects rather than gloom and doom?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I try to encourage folks to find news outlets that also report some good news. I also listen to uplifting podcasts, that helps. However, I do stay current on world and local news as I think it’s important. I just don’t wallow in all of the fear and despair.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad to be back on line if this is the calibre of posts I shall be reading Cheryl! Thank you for sharing these thoughts and inspiring me today. I believe absolutely that we are the change if we carry that determination and impulse to spread light, raise a smile, leave anyone we meet a little happier or more settled for our passing by. There are more good people in the world than not – it is just that we give our attention so easily to the negative and forget that placing our awareness positively is a real act that changes the world. Your great Martin Luther King knew this and lived up to it as best he could – and that is all any of us can do. Keep on shining your light!! 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Pauline! Happy to see you back, friend. You are so right about the focus being on the negative much of the time. I share your belief that there is more good in this world than what we sometimes see. Or are shown. Or perhaps, notice. And that’s up to each of us to tune into the positivity, and tune out of the negativity. (So happy to have you back!) 🙂 xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What beautiful sentiments and not just for today but living every day. I echo much of what you’ve said and that the smallest of steps can be the impetus to big change. If each of us makes the effort to be the light, think of the compassionate, warm glow worldwide. It is refreshing to see flickers of light and hope and change in random corners of the world such as yours, Pema Chödrön and others. Let it begin with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have a friend who at night, with no light is totally blind, however the light from just one candle is enough to enable him to see normally. No matter how great the darkness of our world may be one little light can make a difference and many individual lights make a big difference. Originally the light from a bulb was measured in candle power.

    Liked by 2 people

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