I can do something

I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

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18 comments on “I can do something

  1. shoreacres says:

    So often these days, I see people exhausting themselves with obsessive concern over what’s happening in D.C., or London, or Paris. In the meantime, the people they might engage with as they pass on the street never are seen, because they’re too busy fighting with someone on Twitter or Facebook.

    I can’t stop [fill in the blank] from [fill in the blank], but I can open a door at the post office, let someone into the traffic stream, take some tomatoes to a neighbor, and so on. i learned long ago what even the smallest compliment to a convenience store check-out person can do. It might not affect the larger world, but it certainly affects their world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Amen Linda. I see that every day too. People melting down over political squabbles they won’t even remember in a year. I know people whose time on earth is short now, who are spending the little they have left posting insulting memes on Facebook. I just shake my head. I see people who have all the correct political opinions, opinions which one might reasonably assume would coincide with being a compassionate kind person–and they behave as meanly as anyone I’ve ever known (mostly from behind a keyboard).

      But I also see people who live simply and quietly, and for whom kindness is as natural as breathing. They inspire me.

      I do try to do my small part on the “big” issues, firmly believing that what we do as individuals does make a difference. But at the same time, I also firmly believe that the small simple acts of kindness and courtesy you mention have ripple effects that also tend to make the world at large a better place. We can’t do everything, but we can all do something.

      Liked by 2 people

      • DM says:

        love your words here…..”But I also see people who live simply and quietly, and for whom kindness is as natural as breathing. They inspire me.”

        Reminds me of Pauls words to the Thessalonians… (can’t remember the exact verse..) 😉 “aspire to live quietly…to work with your hands…that you may command the respect of others…”

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Laurie Graves says:

    These are difficult, exhausting times. The news across the pond is encouraging, but here at home, not so much. It is understandable for people to fall into despair, even meanness, although I agree with you this is not the answer. Hale’s words give us quiet hope. Is it enough?

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    • Bill says:

      I think we humans are predisposed to see things as far worse than they actually are. It’s our nature, I think, to zero in on the few things that upset us, and not appreciate the millions of wonderful things going on around us every day. We’ve got plenty of good work left to do, but I think objectively times have never been better than these, and they’re getting better every day. We’re very fortunate to be alive now. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Well, it’s a good story, and there is much to be thankful for. Unfortunately, the political situation is so terrible that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

        Like

  3. Reading the comments here Bill.. so many people today are getting so stressed up within politics and other peoples drama’s… A great reminder you bring..

    Each of us can play a huge part.. by not reacting in fear, anger and blame..

    I am also reminded of another great quote

    Love and Blessings to you Bill..
    Sue

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    • Bill says:

      Well said. Thanks for sharing that Sue.

      I’ve been thinking about something I heard Charles Eisenstein say. I can’t recall it exactly, but it was similar to the Confucius quote. He compared someone who spends all his time and energy fighting for climate change legislation with someone who spends his time quietly caring for a disabled parent. He said that the person who cares for the disabled parent is helping the world just as much as the climate change activist, because the good somehow flows into the world and ripples through it. An idea worth pondering. If I can find his quote and I’ll share it here in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 I agree it sounds a wonderful quote, yes, the energy is what we put into the world.. May we all open our hearts and pour love into the matrix.. Hopefully it will drown out anger and bitterness.. xxx
        Love and Blessings to you Bill.. 😉

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  4. Avery says:

    ❤ wise words

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  5. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – as you so rightly say – simple, yet profound and true … another disaster here today – a major tower block fire … and then all the other hassles we’re having re Brexit – let alone other countries – check out, focus on our own lives – we can improve those and we can help others …

    Wise words – cheers Hilary

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Hilary. I agree with you. Our focus should be on what we can do to make the world better, not what we think others are doing to make it worse. But I know that’s much easier said than done. 🙂

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  6. Joanna says:

    And the post I read before this one had the title “Just do it!” Do what is in your power to do and do it well.
    http://3generations.eu/blog/archives/9560

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    • Bill says:

      Exactly. We can’t do things that are not within our power to do, but there’s no point in fretting over that while neglecting the things we can do.

      Like

  7. I love those words. Pretty much sums up what I say to myself every day. I see incremental change and my values & choices being reflected & replicated in the world, evidence that living our beliefs makes a difference.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Yes, I do too EllaDee. I think it’s easy for us to overlook the positive and beneficial changes that are occurring. I see plenty of good reasons to be optimistic.

      Like

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