Do not “honor” me with symbols and words, nor thoughts and prayers. Honor me with meaningful action.
If the victims of the latest round of senseless violence in our troubled world could talk, I believe these words would be their common refrain.
Do something meaningful.
Meaningful action is risky. Those who attempt it are often second guessed, attacked, and sometimes killed. Want conflict and controversy? Offer a helping hand to someone in need, accept a leadership role or run for public office. Embedded interests emerge en masse to destroy that which threatens their comfort.
And yet, there are many examples of meaningful action that can renew our spirits. President Jimmy Carter shines brightly, even as his twilight descends. He became more powerful after his service at the pinnacle of political power.
News of his decision to enter hospice prompted Rex Chapman to write, “We’ve seen few humans this devoted and humble as Jimmy Carter. Quietly continuing his mission, which was to do good. If you must leave us go gently. Leave your heart and bravery so we might learn.”
Don’t let events in the present moment deter you from continuing your mission. Listen, learn, love and look for opportunities to take meaningful action. Others will follow.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” wrote the brilliant anthropologist, Margaret Mead. “Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”