“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.