This morning I listened to the full speech of Malala Yousafzai before the United Nations assembly. I am always inspired when I hear Malala or any child speak or sing about how even with all the problems we have in society, we do have a wonderful world. It’s a far from perfect world. Injustice, inequality and lack of opportunity is everywhere. We still have not all learned to live together loving and accepting one another as Christ calls us to.
Jesus lived a short but dedicated life giving to others. He knew there was hope for a sin-sick world then. There is hope for our world now. I’m not talking about idealistic hope devoid of being realistic. I believe there is hope for better communities and our world if we don’t give in to the prophets of doom who say there is no hope for our world, so just give up, just resign ourselves to that fact.
The problems in our world are enormous. We have polluted our environment. Too many people still put policy before people. Millions of people live in the misery and hopelessness of poverty of mind, body and soul.
But we must not give up hope. We must go that one step more for those who need our help. We must put prayer at the centre of everything we do. We cannot create a better world of our own humanity. Our own self-effort alone will fail to give us the strength we need for the difficult road ahead of us. It is the road of a new hope, a new vision, a new sense of purpose that must live in all of us.
Hope for a better world begins with you and it begins with me. It begins as all of us work together to improve those aspects of our character we hate in ourselves. Why? God needs to know we really are committed to the path of change. He wants us to stop hating each other in the Church and with all the people we meet. Our Lord wants us to break down the walls of division that keep us from being perfected in love. Not a love with empty words and deeds, but a love for all that is backed up with actions of understanding, compassion and forgiveness. This is a love that gives and gives some more, reaches out to the downtrodden and those losing their firm grasp on hope.
We are not all called to change many lives. Many of us will never have to give a moving speech or preach sermons at a crusade. We all have different gifts, which can start a quiet revolution. It is a revolution of caring, of truly being there for those who need us.
Helen Keller is quoted as saying, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” A handshake, a prayer and a cup of coffee and your time can mean the world to a person who needs their spirit uplifted. None of these seeming small things are unimportant. They become a gift of enduring love to those who are hurting, to those who need so much to be loved and valued.
As I prepare this piece my pastor comes to the door with chicken soup for not merely my body as I recover from a bug, but moreover my soul – a man who faces daily struggles and challenges and yet recognizes the gift we can be to one another. It is the gift of ourselves to all who are despairing, to all who need an infusion of hope in their lives.
It is already a wonderful world. The children in the video believe it. We need to believe it too.
Together we can build an even more wonderful world as we work, pray and believe together that such a vision is not an idealistic dream. It is the real achievable goal as we change our world one person, one issue at a time.
Today, let us all believe that even with our problems it is a wonderful world.
Your challenge: I leave you with this question. What contribution is God calling you to make to a revolution of change in your community? When you know what it is you should do, then as the Nike ad says, “Just do it.” And let God take care of the rest.
Note: I have started my own facebook page “Dreaming together for a better world.”
I welcome and value all of your thoughts about how we can build better communities and a more loving, equal and just world together.
Marmar says it well in the mission statement of his own blog. Change your mindset: Change the world. I think in our own way that’s what many of us are trying to do.
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