The folks who read my blogs or know anything about me know that I am a huge country music fan. I was listening to the radio recently and heard a song by Big and Rich, “That’s Why I Pray”. If you don’t know this song, the repeating lyrics say:
“I wanna make a difference even in the smallest way
I’m only one person but I can feel it working
I believe in better days
That’s why I pray”
I found myself repeating the phrase “I wanna make a difference” over and over again. Even in the midst of the busyness of my life, it all seems pointless if I am unable to do something to make a difference for someone else. I started to think about the power of this idea. If each person set out each day to make a difference for someone, what would the world look like? If we practiced kindness, understanding and a willingness to spend the time to make a difference, what might happen?
I know it isn’t the world we live in to believe that this could be true, but for those people who read my blog, let’s all agree to take a week where this is our credo. Every day when you wake up, say the mantra “I want to make a difference even in the smallest way” before you head into your day. Look for those opportunities which present where you will have a choice and you could choose to do something for someone else, just because…
What might making a difference look like? It could be calling someone you know is lonely. It could be stopping in the rush of your life to really look at the supermarket clerk or salesperson at the mall and ask them how they are, and then really listen to the answer. It could be seeing someone with a heavy package and offering to carry it for them. It could be making a donation in someone’s name, or dropping off a bouquet of flowers.
Making a difference can mean biting your tongue when you really want to lash out at someone and choosing to stay calm and centered. Instead of lashing out, calmly saying that something is bothering you and you’d like to work it out. It could mean practicing patience or taking a few deep breaths before you deal with a frustrating situation at work or at home.
Making a difference could mean stopping to smell the roses. It could mean pausing and looking up from your handheld device to see the sun shining or the trees blooming. It could mean stopping to say a silent “thanks” for the beauty around you in that moment.
It could mean refraining from saying something you know is hurtful to someone else. Or deciding not to “speak your mind” when you really, really want to.
Making a difference, even in the smallest way, will mean different things to different people. You will have to decide this week what it means to you. Think about making a commitment to practice each day finding what it means and then doing it. And for inspiration, you could hum a few bars of this great, inspiring song!