When I am out and about with my six year old son, W, I often call out to him, “be mindful!” When I say it he knows exactly what I mean because I have been saying it to him for years. It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the world around him.
“Be mindful” is our shorthand for, “remember there are other people around you.” For the last year “be mindful” has also activated him to be on the lookout for ways he can help. Is there a box that fell off the shelf at the grocery store? He picks it up. Does he see someone who dropped something? He gives a hand. In his 6 year old way he is making a difference.
One of my favorite messages of activism comes from the teacher and philosopher, William James. (Side note: the James family, collectively, is an amazing family. William’s brother was novelist Henry James, and his sister Alice James revolutionized the concept of diary to book.) But let’s go back to William James, a very interesting and complex man who studied and wrote about so much. William James was fascinated by self, by God, by nature, by fear, by truth, it is an exhaustive list. He was of an era where so many studies crossed into each other: a study of theology would weave into psychology and then someone would weave in their thoughts on nature. It was all connected.
I share all of this to paint a bit of a portrait of a man who would say, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
This wasn’t bumper sticker speak, this was how this man LIVED.
I embrace this concept so deeply and try to live it as well – in all that I do. On days when I wonder, “does this even matter?” I will find this message bubbling up to the top of my mind – JUST when I needed to hear it.
Everything we do makes a difference. I see it in how I am raising my son. I see it in how my son is living his life. I see it in everything.
Two years ago I was honored to participate in a Blogust 2013 campaign and I am thrilled to be a part of Blogust again this year. It’s exciting to see the number of people get involved and know that those numbers translate into something tangible, something life saving. When you leave a comment on this post you are doing something BIG.
Not sure what kind of comment to leave? Here are some suggestions:
• What is a quote or message that gets you through hard times?
• How is your summer going?
• Cake or pie?
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During Shot@Life’s Blogust 2015—a month-long blog relay—some of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions will come together and share inspirational quotes for their children. Every time you comment on this post and other Blogust contributions, or take action using the social media on this website, Shot@Life and the United Nations Foundation pages, one vaccine will be donated to a child around the world (up to 50,000).