Lately, Matthew West’s new song “Do Something” has been stuck in my head. Every time I hear it, I want to just put on my superhero cape and save every homeless person and orphan on the planet. On the ride to my school this morning, it came on the radio. The area where I did my teaching experience was a very nice area, but I was wondering if there was something I could do to reach out to the community. This morning, I realized that I hadn’t done anything to really help this area. I showed up to teach, and I went home.
Part of me felt guilty, but the other part of me realized that I help the world in other ways. The supervisor at the school where I taught told me that I was smart, prepared, and encouraging, and that I gave potential ESL teachers a good reputation. I am blessed by the amount of people who are encouraged by my writing. I even do simple things like help my mom around the house.
So…what does it mean to do something?
I don’t by any means want to take away the full meaning of the song by denying the value of doing something big. However, I think sometimes we get overwhelmed by the amount of darkness that there is in the world. We have passions to end sex slavery, cure AIDS, and save the trees…but to be honest, we can’t do that all on our own. We have such high expectations that we begin to lose our motivation. There are ways that we can practically change the world without becoming overwhelmed, or even complacent.
First of all, in order to really make change, question your motives. What are you looking to get out of providing families for orphan children? What do you want to give? What do you want to get in return?
We also have to dream big but start small. If you want to end world hunger, that’s a great dream to have. However, you’re not going to end it by going to a hungry country and simply handing out food. There are practical ways to help, but they require patience and wisdom. Use the resources that you have to find out ways that you can do something.
It is important to remember not to lose your passion. Try to gain support from people who have a similar vision. If no one around you sees eye to eye with you, write down your dream – or make a video or voice recording – so that you can look back and remember the passion you felt for that movement. If you really feel strongly about something, reach out and see what can be done about it.
Finally, use the gifts that God has given you. As an introvert, I have problems approaching people on the street, so I have difficulty doing random acts of kindness. However, I have no problem writing a blog or helping an organization hand out food. There are gifts that are more popular than others, but that does not mean that other gifts are less important. There will be times when you are called to leave your comfort zone, but if God has given you a gift, don’t continue wishing you had something else. Praise God for allowing you the opportunity even to hold the door open for someone. Jesus himself said that even those people who give a cup of water to a child will receive a blessing. Small acts as well as world-changing acts matter in the long run.
Who’s going to stand up with me and do something?