How to be Happy: Connect Your Passion, Stop Blaming, and Be the Change

Another quickie.  Last week Shane Claiborne came to our church as a guest pastor, and although I haven’t fully looked into his story yet, it seems as though he’s all about some pretty good stuff. Making the world a better place, and that sort of thing.

Shane said, “We have to connect our passion to the world’s pain.”  I don’t know if he borrowed that from someone else or if it’s his own creation, but I loved it. This is great!  We don’t all have to start homeless shelters, or rescue animals, or cure cancer, or be therapists, or figure out how to save the planet, or whatever. Just some of us have to.  Our obligation is to decide what we love to do and figure out where it fits into making the world a better place. Don’t feel bad if you’re not a fan of whatever charitable cause or good deed someone else is doing.  Pick your own way to contribute. And make it fun!

I liked Shane’s quote so much I immediately scrabbled around in my purse so I could write it down. And then at lunch later, I glanced at the headline on a newspaper someone was reading in the diner.  It said “Don’t blame others: Be the change you want.”  Yes!  I scrabbled that down too. The family is used to seeing me do this.

This is not a new quote, but it reminded me that so often we blame circumstances or other people for what’s “wrong” in our lives or in the world.  Yeah, other people do things we don’t like. Things go wrong.  (“Screws fall out. The world’s an imperfect place.” – for you Breakfast Club lovers).

Thirdly, I came across a topic today in a blog I follow that talked about how we need to be the kind of people we want to attract into our lives.  Rather than expounding on others’ shortcomings, though many they may be, we’d do best to spend our time improving ourselves. And one really great way to improve ourselves is to do kindnesses to others, and improve the world.

You’ve heard the story about the little boy and the starfish, right? Well, if not, here’s the condensed version:

Little boy is walking along beach tossing starfish back into the ocean. Apparently there are tons of them all strewn about. It’s taking him quite a while, and he’s really not making a dent.

Man comes up to him and says, “Why are you tossing them back in? There are so many! You can’t possibly make a difference.”

Little boy looks at him, tosses another starfish back in, and says, “I just made a difference to that one.”

Yep. He did.  Who can you make a difference for today? Do it!

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One response

  1. Great smidge!! Your story at the end reminded me of a picture I saw recently on line with a little girl holding a raggedy looking dog. The caption said “You can’t possibly make a difference in the lives of all the homeless animals…but you can make a difference in the life of one.” It’s also like lighting one candle versus cursing the darkness. :~)

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