Note to self

Dear John,

I just had a thought, and it’s something I think would interest you. Maybe you can muse over it for yourself and tell me what you think some time? Anyway, it’s kind of important, so if you’re doing anything else right now, put it down and join me.

The world is not a perfect place, and nor can it ever be. As wonderful as dreams and ideals are, their fruition is almost beyond hope. That’s not to say that the world will never change, nor does it mean you cannot make a difference. All it means is that the problems of this earth are great indeed, and you, alone or with others, may not have the strength or will to change it. To try is to despair with failure.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. It’s true that you’ll never be able to save the 40 000 children dying of starvation every day. Nor will you be able to stop torture, disease, warfare, homelessness, or any of the other issues you feel people should do something about. Because not everybody’s going to do something. There will probably never be a time when everybody simultaneously decides to tackle the problems you’ve been attempting to solve. And by yourself, all it’s going to do is hurt.

But that’s not why I’m writing. There is good in the world- you’ve heard of it time and time again. Good people doing good things. Not on a global scale, or a national scale, or a state scale or a neighbourhood scale or anything remotely remarkable. But there are people in this world that give their time, resources and love to changing lives. Transforming lives. And a life is all a person will ever know. You can change people’s futures.

Don’t try and change the world. While ideally, it is a good idea, it is one of the sad truths of existence that you and I will probably never be able to swerve. Instead, let’s do what we can, which is more than we have to, and always what we’re obliged to. For us, not for them, let’s do something with the lives we have and make this world, in what ways we can, a better place.

Yours sincerely,


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