As an attorney, I still often feel saddened or overwhelmed at many of the conditions my clients find themselves in. A mother with cancer who also has young children is left by her husband, even though she is unable to work. A father caught in the middle of a business partner’s theft of client funds. A daughter not being allowed to bury her mother next to the mother’s infant daughter that died at birth because the daughter’s brothers refuse to consent to the burial due to being mad at the provisions in the mother’s will.
I don’t know of a person yet that has not been impacted by problems in their life. If we wonder who we can help, we usually don’t have to look very far around us. Even if we don’t know what problems a person may be facing, taking time for them and sitting down with them can be a great place to start.
There is a story though that has often made me reflect on what I believe about myself or the power of my own actions. It is the story of the boy that finds a beach full of starfish who are stuck in the sun when the tide went out. An old man sees the boy throwing starfish back into the sea, and he chides the boy, telling him that there is no way he can save all of them. The boy, undaunted, picks up another starfish, throws it into the sea, and says “But I helped that one.”
Just because the world is full of more problems than we can help with does not mean that we shouldn’t do something for someone else. Each of us has the divine power and potential within us to touch and change a human life. Do I believe that though? Do I really believe that power rests within me to really do or change anything? Or, do I sit by, letting opportunities to help pass by?
Why try though? Why spend the time helping another person when we have other things to be doing?
There are many reasons to try, but one large reason is fairly simple – because we have the ability and power to do so. When we exercise the ability and power within us to do good, we change, others change, and the world starts to change, as well. Our actions, our words, our deeds, can all help to mold and shape the world around us.
If we want good in our life, we need to help create good in the lives of those around us. We reap what we sow, and it is impossible for us to do everything that we need to in our lives on our own.
As humans, we each have the power to lift and help those around us. Doing so fills our life with meaning, achieves our purpose in existing, and helps us understand the deeper things of life.
As has been said before: “You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others…” Gordon B. Hinckley, Sep. 17, 1996.
“The good that is in you must be spread to others.” Think about that. Good things can be shared and can help another person. Your time, talents, kindness, smile, etc. can all lift and bring life, healing, strength, and resolve to others. No matter what others do or don’t do, you can be the one to help, to lift, and to cheer.
This year, Believe is focused on helping to encourage each person to “Be the One”. We don’t need to wait for others to do what we can do, we should simply step up and help, because we can. As the poem goes:
“There are chances for work all around just now, Opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying, ‘Sometime I’ll try,’ But go and do something today.” Have I Done Any Good? Will L. Thompson.
You can bring meaning and purpose to your life by being the one, by reaching out to a lonely neighbor, by stopping to help someone repair a flat tire, by taking a dinner to a sick friend, by visiting a rest home and talking to someone there, by donating to help a cause succeed.
You have gifts, talents, and meaning. You are important, and you have the power to lift and help another. Your actions and choices to be the one will, while not solving all of the world’s problems, help at least one person with what they need, and helping that person will be well worth the effort. God didn’t give any of us the responsibility to help everyone in the world. He simply asks that we help those within our sphere of influence, and then we can trust that the rest will work itself out.
This year, choose to “Be the One”. Step in when the opportunity presents itself. Reach out to a friend, neighbor, or family member, and let them know that you care about them. Stop letting others shape the world how they want it, start being proactive and work to help shape it too.
At Believe, our slogan for 2023 is “Be the One”. By being the one, you can do your part within your sphere of influence, and that will contribute good to the grand tapestry currently being woven by many others who work to share good as well. We would love to have you join us. The world may never be the same.