Perhaps the worst things happen when we individually act as if we do not matter. We play small when we imagine someone else will take care of things—that they have more intellect, power or influence—causing us to succumb to inaction. By pretending we each don’t matter, we tell those around us and those who depend on us that we don’t care enough for them, for our collective future to actually take action, to be counted, and to do our very best.
This is how whole nations have stood by when some in “power” committed atrocities. History shows the worst actions by governments have come to pass in spite of the majority, a majority who were not in agreement. Majorities get overridden because although individually they would never agree with the base actions of the few in power, they each did not feel that they mattered, that their own voice was not loud enough, or that there was nothing they felt they could do. I believe that the majority—the vast majority—of people are not only decent, but they’re just like you and me. We all have complex, sad, beautiful and meaningful lives. Most everyone cares deeply and wants what is best for the collective good. But we can individually slip into an unacceptable excuse that our singular effort is meaningless. With this excuse supporting us to inaction, we not only give up on ourselves: we give up on others.
Is it not that which we do not do, or have not done, that haunts us the most?
Right now you have the choice to be a voter, to make your voice be heard, to encourage others to do the same. The most regrettable outcome would be to have an outcome in which you gave up in participating. There’s no way you can be neutral on who you feel is the better choice. In the end, without voting, without supporting others to do the same, without trying, without having your voice heard; you’ve given up on yourself; you’ve given up on others, and you’ve given up on creating your world.
How you do anything is how you do everything. Don’t sit on the sidelines of your life. Decide that you matter, and that what you do—or don’t do—can and will have profound ramifications on the life you create, one choice, one action, one determined step at a time.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” —John F. Kennedy