Increasingly my generation and younger are pushed to be world changers. But we are not just pushed to be world changers. We are told that if we are not doing this by the time we are 30 or 35, then we are failures. We are told that those wunderkinds who achieve fame and wealth are the example. We are not told that they are the exception and to not worry about living up to their example. I feel the pressure to be famous or wealthy at a young age and I am not even someone who yearns for that.
Well, I am here to tell everybody who feels that pressure: do not buy into the hype that you have to be famous by the time you are 35 or you are an unsuccessful nobody.
So much of our culture pressures us to be famous. It tells us that if we are not famous, then we are not making much of an impact on the world. People who are famous are immediately admired, respected, or listened to no matter what their character is.
I find this to be sad. If you are making an impact on just one person, then you are a success. You do not have to be famous to make an impact on this world. By changing the world of one, you change the world. If we would all be more concerned with changing the world of one, then this world would not need as much changing.
I would rather be a good example to one than a bad example to 7 billion.
You can be a world changer if you just change the world of one. If everyone tried to just change the world of one, the world would be changed.
Who is the “one” whose world you should change? May I suggest that you start with your family. What good is a man or woman who tries to hold up the world when his foundation is crumbling beneath him?
Man: love your wife. Show her what true love, humility, understanding, and compassion are. Let her be convinced of what love is before you go out the door.
Woman: love your husband. Show him what love, respect, confidence, and strength can inspire. Let him be convinced of what love is before you go out the door.
Do not have a spouse? Then start with your siblings or parents. Show them that they have a safe place to retreat to when times are difficult.
Maybe the most difficult thing in the world is convincing those who see your every flaw that you are worth listening to. Who sees more of your flaws than your family? They could probably point out your flaws for you. Just ask them. They will tell you. Sure friends see a lot of our flaws and can tell us our flaws, but they also try to do so with a little gentleness. Family usually does not hold back. Once you have shown your family that you may not be perfect but that you are still someone who admits wrong, asks for forgiveness, and is worthy of respect, then you can move onto the world outside.
The One Becomes the Many
When you change the world of one, that one then changes the world of another. Suddenly your actions are not just changing one, but many.
The Many Become the One
When you look at a crowd and see only the crowd, then personalization is lost. But when you look at a crowd and realize that the crowd is made up of a whole lot of “ones”, then you can rightly address the people in the crowd.
What I am Not Saying
I am not saying that you settle for changing only one person’s world or that once you have settled your home into a loving environment that you stop extending your reach of love. What I am saying is that you need to recognize the immense impact of changing one person’s world. By changing the world of one, you have changed the world for somebody.
God has given immeasurable value to each person. That means that you cannot look at your effect on one person and say, “Well, it was only one person.” No! That one person is priceless in the eyes of God and if you positively impact that person’s world, then you have made a priceless impact. By definition, “priceless” cannot be any greater. No one can say, “I made a more priceless impact than yours.” What? It is priceless, there is no higher dollar amount, there is no “more” priceless.
Not only that, but for as far-reaching as some people’s impact can be, they cannot reach everyone. There will always be those who slip through the cracks or who need a personal touch that a popular movement simply cannot provide. As I wrote about in a previous blog post, people who make far-reaching impacts still need ground forces to reach those forgotten or missed individuals. If everybody was concerned with making far-reaching impacts, then nobody would see the individuals missed.
Everybody has different gifts and abilities. Some people were created to have far-reaching impact. Other people were created for a more personal, individual, or specific reason. Each gift is important and no one can say one’s gift is more important than the other.
The apostle Paul points this out very clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. In this passage Paul shows how each part of the body has a role that only it can fulfill. There may be times when we think that a certain part of our body is not that important … and then it gets injured. After a part of our body that we thought was unimportant gets injured, we suddenly find ourselves saying, “I did not know I needed my pinky so much.” This is true for every part of our body. Each part plays a role, and each is important.
It is also true that no one part of the body should be jealous of the another part’s gifts. Just because one body part may have a more flashy job description, it does not mean your job description is not important. Instead of being jealous of someone else’s gifts, we should realize the beauty of our own gift, the importance of it, and the exclusivity of it. If no one did your job, then everybody else would hurt. A lot of people ignore the janitor, but without the janitor, everything stinks and is all backed up.
So go about confidently knowing that you can change the world without being famous. Start with your family. Once you have established your home base, extend your reach one person – no, not just one person – one world at a time.