On January 4th, I asked the question: “Is it enough just to be a good person?” On January 15, I offered a “no” response that considered some words of Martin Luther King Jr. The primary theme of this blog being balance, it would seem only appropriate that a “yes” response be considered as well.
Little things lead to big things. Small choices lead to large consequences. It is absurd to think that every individual must take only big steps, make only large choices, and attempt to sway the masses in order to have an impact on this world. One need only consider the oft used, and oft mis-attributed lines:
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have changed the world.
The world is always in a state of change, hence the struggle for balance. At the same time, there is no end to the need for more positive change. Positive changes can often begin with small choices. An individual making the choice to recycle each day is a small choice with a huge impact over a lifetime. Being kind to the person standing next to you in line can have an infectious quality on their day, and that kindness can spread to everyone he or she comes into contact with. Setting a small example of politeness or caring for a child can help lay the foundation of values for a lifetime. These actions, and countless other small choices, do not require hero strength, persuasive writing power, or inspirational oratory skills. These are simply the choices and the actions of good people who decide to change their own lives, and make more positive choices. I am in agreement with the author of the above lines. Good people can inspire other good people, and together they can change the world and make a difference. It’s needed, perhaps it is enough?