Mosquitos make a difference, and so can you. Are you and a mosquito in compatico? In a way, yes. Let’s back up a bit first.
Two plus years ago, I completed and published my first book, Wild World, Joyful Heart: Unlock Your Power to Create Health and Joy. A hot second after this labor of love hit the bookshelves, the world became embattled in a pandemic. This, of course, cancelled all live events, including book tours. Big bummer.
But you know the drill. You’ve been living the pandemic wildness for two years!
I have some reflections to share today, relative to the state of our world. With the full-disclosure backdrop that I just finished re-reading Part Three of my own book. For the first time since I published it. Because I keep hearing from readers, sharing that THEY’ve been re-reading the third section of the book.
Why are folks re-reading part three of Wild World, Joyful Heart, as we speak? For context, part three is called “Be the Change: Stitching Up Our Wounded World.” It also could have been called “You CAN make a difference.”
Navigating the first two years of the COVID pandemic and then adding in the Ukraine crisis has definitely got folks feeling that the world is wild indeed. Note that I’m only choosing two wild world examples, of which there are many more. But those two get the majority of attention from U.S. news outlets, which means they’re on the forefront of our minds.
Let’s unpack a few key concepts from “Be the Change” that might serve to support you in heart, mind and spirit. Italicized sections are straight from Wild World, Joyful Heart.
On feeling like you can’t make a difference
“The most important thing about a person is how we move through the world. How we related to ourselves and others. How we synthesize and assimilate the lessons and wisdom that naturally arise in our everyday, scrubbing-the-toilet lives. Our choices and our energetic vibration—our Love and our fear, our kindness and our cruelty, our honesty and our treason, our mindful heart and our heartless mind, our self-worth and our self-disgust—touch everyone. This is awe-inspiring.”
The tiny mosquito can make a world of difference to folks gathered at an outdoor barbeque. She comes in hungry for blood (literally) and goes about her desire with relentless single-minded pursuit. And everyone feels it.
A person can make a difference too. Sure, folks like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King, Jr. made a big contribution in the world. Their causes became a cause for others. They moved mountains.
But what about us everyday blokes?
You make a difference in every interaction you have. In every social media post you make. In how you show up in your family, with your friends and at work. In how you treat the drive-thru attendant or the Lyft driver.
That Lyft driver likely goes home to a family or a roomie or a community. And so do you. Do we lift each other up and cultivate kindness? Or do we cut each other down and cultivate fear and hatred? Whichever we choose, spreads. I invite you to choose with intention.
On choosing with intention, among icebergs
“How can we make a difference in this wild world, which seems to be getting wilder?” We can live the best version of ourselves. We can get curious about the deeper levels of people, groups and situations instead of taking things at face value.
Each person, each situation, each country is like the proverbial iceberg. There’s the tip that we see (or think we see), which comprises about 5% of the iceberg. Then there’s the rest of the iceberg under the water. We can’t see it, but it deeply influences 95% of what we believe we’re seeing.
Yet most often, we don’t even consider that there’s more there than meets the eye. We see blue when we look at that 5% of the iceberg above the surface and assume the whole thing is blue. We learn that someone has an attribute/choice—republican, democrat, vaccinated, unvaccinated, Russian, Ukranian, college-educated, eighth grade diploma, young, old—and we think we know them and paint them with a color.
Someone that seems heart-centered and smart and intriguing sometimes turns out to be shoving all that into their 5% while the much-more-murky 95% lurks below the surface. Another person that looks like they climbed out of a dumpster (5%) turns out to be heart-centered and smart and intriguing for reals…it’s their 95%.
In the book, I often refer to the Three Amigos:
I refer to them often because they go a long way to improving our own little corner of the world. And the larger world around us. When we invoke any one of these amigos, it slows us down and opens our heart and mind.
On why all that matters
“Our world is at a crucial tipping point—a fulcrum on which we’ll tip toward peril or promise. The future rests in your hands—our future, and the future of our precious world. Einstein wrote, ‘The problems of the world will not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.’
The cultural, political, economic, ecological, climatic, and other global issues that we currently face were created through prior ways of thinking.”
It’s time to change our ways of thinking. It’s time to take the long view instead of the short view. It’s time to move through the world in a way that improves it. Time to engage in relationships in a way that promotes growth and heart.
“The spark of sanity in a wild world happens in small ways at first. Maybe we set out to be curious about how other people are doing, and how our thoughts and actions might affect them. Maybe simple acts of compassion, toward loved ones and strangers, take root in our daily lives.
Perhaps our contribution toward world sanity begins with the words we use with our child to discuss their behavior at school. Or possibly we become more mindful with our words on social media. This is how we begin to make the world a little healthier, a little more sane.”
Slow down. Cultivate curiosity. Connect with heart.
These intentional choices on how we engage with the world make a difference. Every. Single. Day. It IS a Wild World, and you CAN have a Joyful Heart. You do matter, in many ways, including in ways that we likely don’t understand. As often as you can muster it up, bring your best self to the world party.
To your empowered well-being,