Actually, You CAN Change the World!

Shannon Carlton

Maybe you can’t change the world drastically and all at once; but you can change the world for your people.

Maybe you have a small voice; but that voice still holds power.

You may not have political aspirations or endeavors. Maybe, like me, you stay FAR away from national politics and news; but that doesn’t give you freedom from how your behavior and words affect people in your circle of influence.

How you speak and behave on social media and inside your own four walls matters. How you talk about people matters! Even if it’s only to your spouse or close friends. Don’t think it doesn’t matter.

I remember back in the 8th grade a boy asked my boyfriend "why would ever go out with her, she has a big nose and she’s so tall and ugly.” He broke up with me after that. After years and years, that has stuck with me. Fast forward to a recent conversation with my daughter a couple of years ago. My daughter and a girlfriend were walking down the school hall and they passed a boy. Her friend said how ugly she thought the boy was. Just so happens that my daughter liked that boy and her friend’s assessment affected her and how she saw him, and she wondered if she was right to think he is cute.

These two events seem so unimportant and infinitesimal in the grand scheme of life, and yet they're events that I know will stick with me and my daughter for years to come. Passing comments that mean nothing to the people who uttered them can have a significant impact on the people to whome those comments are made. And it's moments like these that force us to sit back and take a minute to truly grasp how much power our voices hold. The most thoughtless of comments from our mouths can cause the people who hear them to call into question their ideals.

When those harsh assessments of people is turned on a national level, you can understand how detrimental that could be to a race, to a gender, to any group of people.

It’s never the BIG things that make the most dramatic difference, is it? It’s really the little things. Whether good or bad, it's the little things. What we say to people and about people and how we treat people around us can make a huge impact on a life.

How can you change the world? The little things. The little things that seem insignificant. Here are lots of “little things” that can change the world:

  • Choose love
  • Compliment someone
  • Let someone in traffic
  • Let someone in line
  • Say hi
  • Hug someone
  • Tell your kid how important they are to you and that they have a purpose in this world and their job is to find that purpose and live with passion
  • Write down 5 things you’re grateful for every day. A grateful heart is less prone to hate
  • Take responsibility for your own actions and don’t let others actions change your overall attitude
  • Pray
  • Read constantly things that empower, things that uplift, things that grow your knowledge and understanding of the world.
  • Don’t say anything about someone you wouldn’t say to their face
  • Slow down
  • Listen
  • Practice kindness (it is a practice and takes effort)
  • Don’t hang out with people who hate or talk behind people’s back - find new friends
  • Spend time in service of others
  • Give
  • Exercise (I know this seems strange in this context but remember those blessed endorphins and that they do make you happier!!!)

​Little by little, by choosing to make sure that all of the little things that we do are for good, we can change our worlds and the worlds of those around us.