August 15, 2007
Liz published this at 6:03 am
Hey, Jon, How Can We Change the World?
Jon Swanson and I met not long ago. It was shortly after I had started reading his blog. We haven’t talked on the phone. We’ve merely passed messages like two kids in school. Still I think that because we share a certain mutual friend and because I’ve read what he wrote I know him some what.
I wasn’t surprised when an email with Jon’s post for the Change the World series. I share it now with you.
Shaping the World in Little Ways
Guest Writer: Jon Swanson
People tell me all the time that they want to make their lives matter, that they want to do something significant, that they want to change the world.
All the time? Isn’t that an exaggeration?
Not really. I’m a dad and a husband and a friend and a pastor and a listener. Most of my conversations somehow involve people who aren’t happy with something about their situation, or something about their life or something about their job or something about the furniture or …..
But you said that people were wanting to change the world. You are talking about complaining, aren’t you?
Not really. I have this funny notion that people are connected to each other, that what happens to one person can change someone else.
Yeah, that’s the “butterfly wing” effect, right? A small action somewhere changes something in the other part of the universe. That’s so cliche.
I know. It’s silly. Of course, if I started describing the yellow swallowtail I see in the backyard right now, while sitting in the old rocking chair that my grandfather sat in, and Susan Reynolds thought about it and decided to paint that butterfly, and then put the cards on her website, where Becky McCray ordered some to send a thank you to Jim Long for painting pictures with his words and images, which made Jim particularly motivated in his camera work so that he shot a visual meditation on yellow swallowtails which was edited into the closing credits sequence at the end of the network news someday so that 2-3 million people watching were less cranky about the world when they sat down for supper and encouraged their kids instead of scolding them so that they did well on their tests the next day and school performance, just for a day, improved–would that be cliche?
Well yes. But it would be a good way to show some link love. And what the world needs now is love, link love.
That’s pretty cliche, too.
Here’s the point. To talk about deciding to change the world ignores the fact that we already are. Our existence, our interactions, our writing, our time, our love, our hate–all of these things are shaping the world in small ways. The question is not whether you are ready to change your world. The question is whether you like the way you are already changing it. And whether you are willing to be part of helping other people change the world. too.
Even if the action is as simple as writing a post.
Thanks, Jon, for showing us how we are changing the world in the “ittle ways” that count.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you’re ready to change the world, send me your thoughts in a guest post. Feel free to take the gorgeous Change the World image up there that Sandy designed back to your blog. Or help yourself to this one.
Email me about what you’re doing or what we might do. Let’s change the world one bit at a time together. Together it can’t take forever.