H circa 2009 was a (surprisingly?) wise young woman. Here’s something penned on March 19, 2009 at 12:30am. (I was always the meticulous one.*)
• • •
Reflect on those less fortunate and feel not guilt, but gratitude. In an age where inaction toward a(ny) cause may draw raised eyebrows from judging peers, feel not obliged to act out of pressure to conform to this new social norm if it does not come from a conviction within you.
Rather, begin by acknowledging your privilege, and all that it affords you.
gender • race • country of origin • current residence • sexual orientation • education • wealth • status • “beauty” • age • ability • wisdom • support • religion • opportunity • possibility
Be conscious of your advantages. Be grateful for them.
This is a start. This is enough. More than money thrown to a cause can ever do. Because this could spark true understanding; deep appreciation.
Appreciate the power of words. Appreciate the power of small actions. Never stop questioning. Learn curiously. Learn concern. Learn humility. Learn gratitude. Learn kindness. Learn the art of negotiation. Learn the value of communication.
Learn to love. Love to learn.
• • •
Stumbling upon this entry of mine was so refreshing, because it was a tacit reminder of both how much I’ve grown, and how very much I’ve stayed the same. Reading through it, the following thoughts comically strung together:
“I want to be this person.”
. . . “I was this person.”
. . . “I am this person.”
There are, of course, other things I would add to that quick list I’d blurted out 3 years and 8 months ago (e.g. mobility, security, spirituality, agency, connection, freedom, technology…). There are, of course, nuanced thoughts and great complexities merely caressed by those words, that remain unexplored above.
But from where I’m sitting, that simplicity and imperfection is what it’s all about. So, from where I’m sitting, it’s simply perfect.
Yes, I’m out to change the world. (I will, I guarantee it.) I’m starting with me.
Humbly, ~ H
The big dots of the post
• “Change is a process, not an event.”
• Working on “me” first is even an airline industry concept (oxygen masks, anyone?)
• We give our past selves less credit than is due (and our current selves more credit than is deserved). Note to self: stop that.
• “Everything in moderation.” Reflection is powerful when it feeds into action; don’t get too stuck in either.
• Action based on a solid foundation – of self, of knowledge, of cultivated empathy – is so much more impactful (IMHO). Pretty much unstoppable.
Do you still feel guilty when you’re faced with an issue you’re not currently “fighting”? How do you cultivate that much-needed strong inner conviction?
*Looking back on my calendar, it turns out I had come home sick from school that day. In the throws of work/papers/midterms/exec commitments that week… it was a rest day. Chased a recuperating nap with an 8 hour paper-writing stint – with these thoughts pouring out of me around the halfway mark. Funny how that works…
• Susanne Conrad’s “Above / Below the Line” concept visualized.
• “I Want to Be An Aid Worker” – on cultural tourism (a.musing)
• Taking care of the care-givers.
• Lehrer on The Virtues of Daydreaming.
• Bump that track; turn up the love.